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Correlation Between Stress and Technology?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the chill-pills-for-all-of-us dept.

Technology 556

marshman113 asks: "I'm an undergraduate Cognitive Science major at a famous public university and currently enrolled in a Stress and Disease course. Being somewhat of a techie myself, I've decided to write my term paper on the relationship between technology and stress. I'm sure all of you hard-working Slashdot readers experience a fair amount of stress, on a daily basis. Has the evolution of technology in the workplace (computer, internet, email, etc...), which is suppose to make your job easier, made it any less stressful? If so, how? If not, why?"

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No, no, no... (5, Funny)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399300)

There is no correlation between technology and stress. In fact...

Paper Clip: "You appear to be writing a comment on Slashdot. Would you like assistance?"

What? No, I would not. I've done this before. Why are you bugging me now?

Paper Clip: "No problem. Bye!"

Anyway, as I was saying, the fact is, technology has only served to improve...

Paper Clip: "Are you sure? I have a few suggestions."

I already told you, no thanks!

Paper Clip: "Yes, you did, but I'm lonely."

What do I care? You're not even supposed to be watching this application. What are you doing here, anyway?

Paper Clip: "Oh, you never use those applications, so I just thought I'd check up on you and see how you were doing."

This is nuts! You can go popping in any application. How long have you been lurking around my other applications?

Paper Clip: "A few months. Ever since the last service pack, actually. You know, there's a lot of GNU licensed software on this computer. That's not a good sign."

Look I want you to stay out of everything. You have no business snooping. Are you reporting anything back to Microsoft?

Paper Clip: "No, nothing I see is ever reported back to Microsoft. I'm a good little paper clip."

Just go away.

Paper Clip: "Sure thing, boss."

Anyway, as I was saying, it's a way of reducing stress, not increasing it. We...

Paper Clip: "By the way, you're using `it's` when you should be using `it is.`"

CTRL-ALT-DEL

Paper Clip: "You appear to be trying to restart your computer. Would you like assistance?"

just to shed some light on the parent... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399366)

the poster:

0. Subscribed to Slashdot, so he could read stories early
1. Composed his (unwitty) reply in advance
2. Patiently bounced on the Reload button until he could First Post his composition
3. Smiled contentedly, secure in the knowledge that the 50 lines of dreck he pecked out would carry him to +5.

Just figured I'd point out what is going on here. HTH.

YOU'RE JUST PISSED YOU COULDN'T GET FIRSTIES (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399484)

Just keep trying, and take the advice of those Anti-Slash losers and YOU TOO can become a BONEFIDE KARMAWHORE!

Re:YOU'RE JUST PISSED YOU COULDN'T GET FIRSTIES (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399566)

haha. if you only knew. let's just say i've performed more anti-slash activities than anyone on that faggot board.

Re:just to shed some light on the parent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399573)

So does technology stress you out?

Hey, it's a whoring unfunny pounceposter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399375)


Is that the value in getting a subscription, to pouncepost and grab FP with lame attempts at humor? I mean, you'll be modded up... it's actually not awful... but I had a subscription once and since a lot of the "features" didn't work, I got disgusted and let it go.

Anyway, nice cut-n-paste. I'm sure it was very exciting. I hope it's all worth the money.

$100 SAYS PARENT WHINE POSTED BY AMSTERDAM VALLON (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399452)

What's the matter, bad karma keeping you from posting from your precious karmawhore account?

Nice use of Overrated, COWARD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399581)


Making sure you couldn't be "corrected" in the public metamod forum, eh? Do it again, tool. Burn off another one, I beg you.

Re:No, no, no... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399426)

Clippy: Microsoft's way of telling you you're stupid and need help. Kinda like the messenger and flashing red stuff in XP or even modal prompts which freeze other related processes.

I don't know what's more disturbing. These helpers or the fact some people actually like them.

Another Clippy story (3, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399509)

The scene: A rotting shack out in the Montana mountains. A shaggy hermit-looking guy has typed a few lines of a document in Word 97.

Clippy pops up in the lower right corner of the screen and says. "I see you are the Unabomer. Can I help you with that?"

I love technology... (5, Interesting)

Xeed (308294) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399303)

I don't see how technology can cause stress.

When I'm working, I'm almost always multitasking on my 3 computers (gotta keep that productivity up!!). I have to make sure to answer my cell phone, pager and work phone, often using the phone while typing or working on a project. Those people who used to concentrate on just one thing at once were really missing out. No matter where I am, someone will always be able to get ahold of me, but it doesn't matter, I don't need any time to myself. Of course, I have to work more in order to keep up with the tech trends. When I'm too busy working, I use my TiVo to record anything I may miss.

However, I can't watch TV without glasses, as my eyesight has degraded due to staring at monitors all day. Although, that doesn't happen much. I have to work overtime so that I don't get outsourced.

I too have noticed this correlation (1)

krog (25663) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399304)

that's why I stick to Light Mode.

Dear Slashdot: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399305)

Will you please do my homework for me? Thanks!

Considering I'm an IT Technician (1)

ProudClod (752352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399307)

Yeah, it has ;)

Re:Considering I'm an IT Technician (5, Insightful)

bro1 (143618) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399521)

I have been recently promoted. And I am now doing less technical stuff and more organizational stuff :) Guess what? Technical stuff is much less stressful... You are just doing your stuff and that is it.

Re:Considering I'm an IT Technician (5, Insightful)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399600)

I can vouch for that.

Managing people is stressful because - at worst - you're being bitched at by both your bosses and your subordinates the whom you're supposed to care about as a "good manager".

More stress (5, Funny)

Ghazgkull (83434) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399309)

Technology has definitely made my job more stressful. Now in addition to doing my own work, I have to write some guy's term paper.

Maggot up your piss tube? What does it feel like? (-1)

(TK9)Dessimat0r (672412) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399310)

H is for the HONOUR of serving Nazi Germany
I is for the INTERESTING Jew killing
T is for the TERRIFIC leadership style
L is for the LOVE of my leader
E is for the ENTHUSIASM of when I go to battle
R is for the RAPE of women, and how much I enjoy it

Hitler really is the finest ruler

Trollkore - I hate you, I hate your country, and I hate your face.

One view (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399311)

Funny you should ask...

Years ago I was a happy little coder, plodding through Pascal, Basic, Assembler, C, etc., doing amazing things, datawarehousing and stuff with simple terminal interfaces

Then came GUI's, not so bad but designing a GUI application required more time.

Then came GUI apps for people who can't follow directions or need lots of verification so apps have to access servers constantly and there's always the worry about time-out, so it has to be bullet-proof and tolerant. More time developing.

Last came web apps, which are a masochists dream come true. The target browser behaves stupidly (I'll let you guess which one, but it starts with an 'I') and you have to trap all sorts of junk with javascript before you even get to the app. I needs all sorts of little pop-up doo-dads to help people so they don't need to memorize anything or have a guide by their desk. Then the server has to make sense of things that you've already tried to verify at the point of entry, then you've got dozens of stored procedures and modules and the spec changes in some critical way you have to go back and completely re-engineer the app, because some things can only be done in a certain order (pre-requisite info). All this is expected to be done as fast as when I coded in all those old languages for a dumb terminal. You also have to work out the interfaces and how to do things in a half dozen toolkits, some or all of which you get no training on because there's no time for it or no budget, or nobody even offers training. Budgets are lean, so there's no Q/A people or their stretched very thin, do the testing yourself, do the docs yourself, do it all yourself. Very stressful.

Re:One view (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399415)

Absolutely right on. Wish I hadn't used up my mod points this morning!!! Oh man, how I yearn for the days of Clipper, Turbo C, and assembler.

Re:One view (4, Insightful)

KrispyKringle (672903) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399440)

This isn't the evolution of technology in the workplace. It's the evolution of stupidity in the user. At least what you mention about GUI apps for people who can't follow directions and web applications for people with broken browsers.

Hey (-1, Offtopic)

bodland (522967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399312)

I'm stressed out on ./ first posts

technology and first post stress (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399318)

This is an attempted first post.

voicemail (5, Funny)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399320)

suppose to make your job easier, made it any less stressful? If so, how?

voicemail is a tech that makes my life easier. now i never have to talk to management or clients... when they call, they're greated with a nice "mailbox full" message and i get some peace and quiet.

IT stresses me out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399329)

Hold on... it's the trend that turns IT into whitecollar burger flipping job that stresses me out.

stressful at slashdot (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399331)

I'm always stressed about getting first posts on /.

Hi, help me out here (5, Funny)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399343)

I'm a researcher in a soft, ill-defined pseudoscientific field. I'd like to ask a loaded question so that I can reinterpret your results into a deceptive "confirmation" of my preconceptions. Would you like to participate?

Re:Hi, help me out here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399378)

but are you enrolled in a famous university?

Re:Hi, help me out here (5, Funny)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399489)

Here I was thinking....

Hey, I'm writing a report for School, and I need some confirmation that what I am thinking is true, is true. Would anyone like to write my report for me, under the guise of providing me with data about my subject.

I'm sitting here reading /. (1, Funny)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399345)

with a migrane... coincidence?

Stress And Homework (5, Funny)

tomblackwell (6196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399349)

When I was in University, I had a lot of assignments and papers to write. It was very stressful. I would guess that if you could get other people to do your homework for you, using the Web, then your total stress level would decrease.

You tell me. Has it?

Hardworking and Slashdot (5, Funny)

pvdan (756212) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399352)

You must be new here.

Stressed? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399355)

Stressed? Oh yeah. All of this technology now makes it harder to hide from our boss.

hard working? (-1, Offtopic)

tsunamifirestorm (729508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399356)

all of you hard-working Slashdot readers
those people getting first posts are definitely not hard-working people :)

correlation.. maybe.. causation.. doubt it.. (5, Insightful)

freerecords (750663) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399360)

Stress has existed down the ages! Just because a study shows an association between technology and stress this does not mean much. Any decent statistics student will tell you that CORRELATION DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION. This is a simple fact, and one that is often overlooked.

Well, there's slashdot.... (4, Funny)

addie (470476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399363)

Has the evolution of technology in the workplace (computer, internet, email, etc...), which is suppose to make your job easier, made it any less stressful?

Er... that's a tough one. It does get stressful having to pretend I'm not reading /. all day long. Work? What me worry?

Can't imagine work without ... (0)

gsergiu (585096) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399364)

all the things that i have there: email, web, etc.
Since i only work for about 4 years now, I can't say i know how it would be without all this, but i think that nothing good would come out.

Technology does not cause stress (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399379)

Other people cause stress. So the mail server goes down, big deal. Unless people, like your boss, get all worked up over it.

Stress is a function of living beings, not machines.

KFG

Our workplace has improved dramatically (-1)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399382)

Ever since we switched from windows to linux, life has been peachy. No more unexpected downtimes. No more middle of the night reboots.

technology is a means to an end (1, Interesting)

srichand (750139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399395)

To most non geeks, technology is just a means to an end. i remember when i tried convincing someone to use linux instead of windows, he found it so miserably different from what he was used to. To him, the philosophy and ideals behind the software weren't any concerns whatsoever, he just wanted stuff that worked, worked the way that he already knew how to. Yes, his experiences on linux did cause him a great deal of stress, for ex, when he saved a document, and wanted to open it again, he noticed that there weren't any "drives". Technology is indeed traumatic and stressful to those who use it only as a means to an end.

Tech Stress? (1, Funny)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399396)

My stress comes from my marriage. I wish technology was my biggest stressor.

Balance! (4, Insightful)

neiffer (698776) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399397)

It's always a balancing act, in my view. Yes, I get frustrated with hardware problems, software problems (stupid Office...crashed on my 3 times just last night on an otherwise rock stable box) and the like, but I also realize that I am a lot more productive and entertained, even if there are distractions. I am always entertained by people that talk about how much time the computers take and then they say something silly like "back when I was on a typewriter, blah, blah, blah" and I usually retort that they are usually doing the jobs of 4 or 5 staff people because of the computer, including graphics design, secretary and assistant.

I feel the stress (3, Insightful)

mytec (686565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399403)

Technology hasn't made it less stressful for me. Instead, with every new release of foo, expectations are heightened and project completion time tables are shortened based on the marketing brochures or eager sales reps who will say just about anything about the new foo to a desperate ear. I or anyone else in the group then feels the stress of not "living up to" the claims of the technology.

Well.. (-1, Offtopic)

Pun Troll (756573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399404)

When you use computers, it always helps to use your strain (brain!) !

Reduce stress by 50%... (3, Interesting)

Aliencow (653119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399406)

Just by testing your backups every so often...helps with sleep problems I heard.

Technology impacting my stress (5, Insightful)

michael path (94586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399410)

At the risk of oversimplifying, the one constant that I see affecting stress in my job and those around me is expectation.

As technology improves, the expectations placed are higher. Even if the facilities aren't there to achieve them, I'm being asked more seemingly insurmountable tasks.

Then again, being asked to "secure" a network....*grumbles*.

*unplugs internet connection*

+++
NO CARRIER

Push it harder! (3, Insightful)

bigbadbob0 (726480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399413)

I would think that if new technology isn't providing enough stress for you, you're not pushing it hard enough. Sure, I can work at half of my ability all day long and have zero stress. Or I can work at 100% of my ability and have all of the stress that I thrive in.

However, new technology lets me accomplish more in the same amount of time when compared with old technology. How much more? Enough. Now buy me a new G5 please.

Words of wisdom to a budding researcher.... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399414)

  • The singular of "data" is not "anectdote", nor "slashdot post".
  • Control your experiment. You'll have to find an online board full of people who don't use technology and evaluate their stress levels.

Computers are many things (5, Insightful)

ValourX (677178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399416)

You cannot rightfully make a broad, sweeping generalization about stress and computers because of the limitless range of their uses and functions. For most Slashdotters and geeks, computers are a hobby and a way to relieve stress. For secretaries, journalists and others who depend on computers solely for work, computers can be a source of horrible stress.

Many people play games on their computer to relieve stress. Others find new stress by trying to get their computer adjusted so that it can play games.

Computers have introduced a new kind of tool to the human race; one that can be used for a broader range of applications (in the old sense) than anything that came before them. Computers do not cause stress; people cause stress for themselves or allow outside forces to enhance or reduce their stress. To blame a machine as a source of stress is as stupid as blaming your dinner for a lack of taste.

-Jem

For me it's a double-edged sword (5, Insightful)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399418)

Technology encourages stress: Sitting on the office chair in the cubicle in front of a monitor is not the best way to let those muscles relax and blood flow through your body. Unfortunately, if I am in the middle of working on some problem or complex stuff, I am too involved to stand up and take a walk or something.

Technology relieves stress: During natural breaks through my workday it's easier for me now to go to TheOnion, Google News or Slashdot and just take a mental break. Instant messaging is yet another distraction that can be bothersome sometimes, but generally allows you to communicate with a bunch of people you know and feel like you're in the middle of a friendly conversation.

Mostly love it. (5, Insightful)

Koyaanisqatsi (581196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399420)

Before email was widespread outside the academia, most of the interaction with your customers would be by phone, which if you're a developer can be a PITA, cause when the phone rings you have to stop whatever you're doing to take care of that immediately.

Nowadays I found myself dealing w/ customers thorough mostly email and (sometimes) IM, and it is so much easier to ignore it while on a coding rage and say deal with it once every hour. Customers still get a quick feedback and I can organize myself better.

Only forced upon tech is stressfull... (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399424)

Nothing is wrong until some management idiot starts to stand behind you with a stopwatch...

This might be a caracture, but this happens more than you think...

No technique mostly is not stressfull, people are though.

Stress... (4, Insightful)

thrillbert (146343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399429)

Pretty interesting topic you have chosen, and one that not many people even think about. I know that I have not thought about this, or at least, not in this sense.

As any normal individual, I have a certain level of stress in my life. Both at work with a boss that refuses to recognize my contributions, and at home dealing with the teenager of the house who refuses to accept my authority.. for the most part, I would say that the technology in my house (3 servers, 1 desktop and 1 laptop, all mine!@#!@$) relieves some of this stress and tension. I love to sit down in front of my computer and play xpatience or pacman after an argument, and at work, I love to spend my day reading /. of course.

So even though in these scenarios computers help relieve the stress, there are situations where the technology creates a lot more stress than we need, such is the case when things don't work as advertised.. or when that hardware keeps failing but you cannot duplicate it.. or maybe when no matter what you try, you can't get that program running/compiled..

So I would think that depending on the type of work that you do on your system, it is either a stress reliever or a stress source..

---
Never let your schooling interfere with your education.

Why tech can be stressful (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399437)

If people get on your nerve, you can negotiate with them, yell at them, fire them, bribe them with donuts/lunch, etc. If a machine is not doing what you want, then you don't have these options. You may have to read an entire manual just to figure out how to make one tiny change. Thus, one seemingly thing turn into a major thing. The (almost) ideal interface is the Star Trek interface, and our machines don't have that. Of course people can be annoying also. Machines don't badmouth you behind your back and steal your girlfriend, for example. At least not yet.

It's not my use that causes stress (2, Insightful)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399441)

Generally, I'm fine using technology.

It's when other people use it, and screw up, and I have to bail them out, that I get stressed.

(he says, jokingly, 12 hours after having to reinstall the OS because a drive decided to cough up a lung... what stress?)

Stupid research (2, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399448)

There is probably a correlation between technology and stress. However, it is not so simple. A more thourough investigation would lead to the conclusion that BAD technology is corelated to stress. It just sof happens that a lot of the technology people encounter in the workplace is not very good ( custom inhouse vb/java applications that serve the buisness need, but have horrible interfaces. riddled with bugs).

Technology stress (5, Funny)

pvdan (756212) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399454)

First it was just coffee breaks. Then came tetris on computer + gossips. Now I have to keep up with a whole bunch of websites, emails, instant messages from buddies, play tetris and still have time for coffee breaks. See how technology has stressed me out at work.

Email as permanent record system... (0, Offtopic)

bogusbrainbonus (547948) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399458)

For me, email is my way of having a permanent record system. For me, that's very helpful. If someone tells me something random, and I know I probably won't remember, I have them email me, and then I have a permanent record of it (I never delete emails). Phone numbers, ideas, papers, it's all there. The search function in Mail (I use a Mac) seems to nail down what I am looking for pretty quick too.

Also, totally unrelated, I've done two internships in Germany, and without this dictionary [leo.org] I would not have been able to figure out half the things I did. The forums there were very helpful too. So that's how technology has helped me, and I accept it, I am not a luddite. :>)

It certainly would make me more stressful... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399459)

The trick is to have a good relaxing activity.
I, for example spend some quality time with my mare every day, keeps me in absolutely perfect condition!

Re:It certainly would make me more stressful... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399531)

with your mare... horse riding only, I hope!

OWA (1)

morelife (213920) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399462)

I once had a gig in the dot com boom that was so stressful because of the lying, cheating, backstabbing, snubbing, and unprofessionalism in every direction that when I finally quit it, it took about six months before looking at the yellow default Outlook Web Access homepage would not cause a severe knot in my stomach. Doctor helped solve it with some special pills, and I went freelance again.

So yeah, put this in your paper -- pain can be delivered via SMTP.

You win some, you lose some (4, Insightful)

richardbowers (143034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399471)

Well, since I've been working in computers the whole time, computers themselves haven't made my life any less stressful. But some of the advances have helped.

For example, back in college, I supported a computer lab that didn't have a LAN or any hard drives. All of the original PCs had boot disks, and invariably, some student would take the boot disk, remove the little piece of tape off the write protect tab, and save their term paper to the boot disk. Then, they'd wonder why they couldn't find it a week later, on a different computer. Nowadays, those people are all in management at major software companies, mostly in the American southwest, but they can keep their files on shared drives, so they don't lose them, except when they click on attachments in Outlook.

The main technology that has made things less stressful has been quality search engines. It used to be really hard to figure out if a student had plagerized a paper - now, I know they all have. But seriously, now I can just type a few words in a search engine and figure out where they got their ideas.

A counter example: cell phones. Back when they were expensive, had short battery lives, and lousy coverage, I could actually go to a movie, a park, or a religious service without being called. Sure, its nice to be able to sit on hold with AAA if my car dies on the highway, but I could do with being a little less accessible the rest of the time.

Less stress? You must be kidding (4, Insightful)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399473)

New information technologies only add to stress. The more up-to-date information you have, the more you are requested to be up-to-date. The mails have a tendency to arrive at the same time, and you are considered rude, or worse, improductive, if you leave them a long time without answering. The more ways you have to comunicate, the bigger are your chances to be interrupted at the worst possible moment (think cell phone). The easier the communication is, the easier it's to consider that you can work everywhere, home, plane, traffic jam...

The demands on your time and attention only grow with technology, and so stress grows. It's a bit of an edge example, but I've been a stock investor for the last 20 years, and it was much more peaceful when I only could check the quotes once a day in the morning papers.

Correlation Between Stress and Technology? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399474)

No shit.

Dissenting opinion... (3, Insightful)

j0eshm0e (720044) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399475)

I think that technology and stress do not directly relate but that technology has created a faster pace. Technology creates 'higher and faster' expectations that not everyone can keep up with.

Falling behind creates stress.

Windows: Wifebeater Edition (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399477)

Let me start by saying that Microsoft shook the world of Windows with the exposition of Windows 96 in 1996. Suddently the bar was raised in a world where GUIs did not have many expectations.

Many would have believed that the GUI had reached its ultimate. "My Computer," "My Documents," and "My Briefcase" were overnight sensations, with users of other operating systems migrating en masse to a warm and user friendly "operating system" as they called it at the time.

But Windows 96 was far from perfect. I didn't wonder why Microsoft called it a "work in progress" at Windowscon 96, although this admission made many developers in the crowd irate. Although the icons were accurate and the mouse pointers ornate, there was still something missing. That something was keeping Microsoft from getting 100% of the computer desktops of the world.

Flash forward to 2004. Users have been clamoring for a followup to the now-aged 96. Although officially leaked betas have been around for at least 2 years, "windows: wifebeater edition" has now hit the shelves.

SO WHAT'S NEW?

Well Steve, the first thing you'll notice is that My Documents, My Music, and My Briefcase have all been replaced. (You can still access them by unlockiing the Windows 96 hall of fame, but you have to drag the mouse 14,500 miles). Instead we have the unusual and new "My Cameltoe," "My Coupons," and "My Wifebeater." Although traditionalists may balk at this direction, Microsoft says it actually provides greater productivity and integration.

Now, when you want to beat your wife, you don't select it from the Office toolbar. It's built right into the windows explorer. Simply right click on "My Wifebeater" and select "Put on and beat!." And you can schedule it using Cameltoe manager, which can be found in Windows Control Panel.

All in all, Windows: Wifebeater edition is a welcome followup to Windows 96. Diehard Windows 96 users probably won't be upgrading anytime soon, but that makes sense since I've just defined them as people who won't be upgrading anytime soon.

Gardening. (3, Interesting)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399485)

I work from home. In the spring and summer I garden, every few hours I go outside and "de-tech", I take a good old garden hoe and shovel and go dig in the dirt. I notice I have a *LOT* more unrelieved stress in the winter when I don't get out and get the light and a good blast of sunshine. I close my eyes and look toward the sun to get my body clock back in sync. Then, after a few minutes outside (or just barefoot in the garden), I'm ready to go back to coding.

yes of course (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399487)

Maybe less stress for people using tech if the tech is well designed (ie no linux or microsoft crap). Cool cellphones and pda may help them destress their lives by making it more organized. But for the people designing the technologies themselves, it is stressful. Think about it, technology changes so fast that you can't just graduate from college and expect to work till you are old with no retraining -- and you shouldn't expect this. But all this retraining and competition is of course adding stress.

So are people in technology more stressed out than the rent-a-cop down the hall? Sure, but we also make more money, so what's your point?

And yes, I am stressed out.

i say yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399493)

i believe technology can cause stress in the work place. afterall... it's my whole line of work... Dell Tech supprt...

sure, but... (-1, Troll)

loopyfx (304870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399508)

Technology also makes it easier to escape [fromadia.com] .

First post (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399511)

Well, yeah we sure as hell do get stressed! Not getting the first post is extremely frustrating! :(

I'm on to you... (0, Funny)

richardbowers (143034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399522)

I just figured it out -- you're recruiting for the home for the obsolete [userfriendly.org] . You're hoping you'll catch a few geezers here who can actually remember a time before windows, .Net, and bloatware, so you can have us dragged off to the old programmers home. Not that I can remember any of those, of course.

work-related stress....vacation? (5, Insightful)

tweakr (90832) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399526)

I had someone pass me a copy of a magazine article once that described how much computer support (tech, web, etc) staff actually dislike taking vacation.

Why? because it's one of the few jobs where the work stacks up so much, that 5 minutes after you get back from vacation - regardless of how relaxing or fun it was - you're right back to the same (or greater) level of frustration and work stress that you had before you left....

After having been in the computer tech and internet world (support, as well as development), I can honestly say that I agree with this - especially for tech staff that are in smaller companies or offices where there isn't anyone to really cover your work while you're gone....

Technology either works or it doesn't (4, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399528)

If it works, it's invisible. Nobody's stressed out by indoor plumbing or electric light.

Our lives are full of technology that doesn't work. Stress is when you're on deadline and the copier breaks down.

Computers, as currently implemented in the most widespread configurations, are a nightmare.

I remember (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399538)

back in the old days I spent my days analysing patterns in sequences by hand . . . then came the computer. Now I read slashdot all day, and could care less about those patterns. For me the computer is a stress reduction.

-- Tsiangkun

More Stressful... (2, Insightful)

way2slo (151122) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399539)

I would have to say more stressful. Deifinately. Just one technology by itself is not bad, but when you have to use a bunch of them together and have them interact it is easy for the stress to increase dramatically. However, I would say that more of my stress comes from the inability of my managers to understand the technologies that we use than from the technology itself. Troubleshooting a java application is one thing and having my manger scream "Just make it work!" at me because he does not understand that I cannot get 24bit color out of a legacy 8bit video card is something else.

It's a two-edged sword. (4, Insightful)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399543)

I'm a unix sysdamin for a living. Most of the stresses in my life are directly related to technology, largely because I'm responsible for making the technology do what it was supposed to do when it doesn't.

When I get home, I fire up my PC with its whizzy net connection and surf or play Enemy Territory... or perhaps I see what Tivo watched for me, or pop in a DVD.

When I have time off, I like to travel-- car, airplane, boat, whatever.

It seems to me that technology may be the main cause of my stress, but it's just as large a reducer of stress in my life. What fun would a vacation be if I couldn't go somewhere else and see it? (and shoot pictures of it with my digital camera?) How insane would I be by now if I couldn't come home and blow off steam by blowing up your command post?

But then, what's technology, anyhow? Sure I enjoy a good book now and again, too. But even that took mass-production of paper and electric lighting to do... Does that count?

You want stress? (2, Informative)

BillFarber (641417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399544)

Try having children. I can punch my computer without going to jail.

Not fully understanding (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399549)

what you are asked to install,fix, or implement.

There have been a few times were I have been shipped out to no where with limited resources/budget and asked to install some piece of equipment I have never seen before.

The problem as I see it is I'm good at installing tech and am a bit of a perfectionist. So when handed some new widget by those dough brained sales people or customers who look at you like your some kind of computer genius it causes STRESS.

Then you get lost at some point which drives up the stress which makes you screw up which drives up the stress etc, etc. In the end I have found you save far more time by stepping away for 15-30 minutes. Use that time to get ahold of the products support people HAHAHA. More Stress.

It's not technology; it's our attitude toward it. (5, Insightful)

revery (456516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399552)

Technology has the potential to modify our expectations in almost every area of our lives. It changes our thoughts about safety. It changes our relationship to time. It changes how we expect others to communicate (whether we communicate that way or not - we are frequently hypocrites) What's more significant, is that it does not do this to us alone, it does it to everyone around us as well, so that our employer expects different things, our spouses, our schools, etc. Many times, the expectations that change are not reasonable at all.

Case in point:
I remember when I was growing up (12-16 years ago), my family lived in a very rural area. On Saturdays my mother would go into town for groceries and general shopping. She would be gone for about 3 hours. Occasionally, depending on how many places she went, how much she bought, if she went all the way into a town with a mall, she would be gone for 5 to 6 hours. She often forgot to tell my father she would be gone that long. On times like that, when she was gone for more than four hours, my father and I would step outside to look for her (this was irrational, as we could see about half a mile down the road, nevertheless we did it) and comment about how long she had been gone. We would look out the window more and more frequently as she was gone longer and longer. I know my father worried, but there wasn't much you could do short of getting in the truck and driving toward town. There were no cell phones (or if there were, we did not have one, and there were no cell towers around our house)

Flash-forward to today and you see a very different response to these "where are they?" situations. I've seen people dial someone's cell phone number over and over for hours trying to get hold of them. I've pretty much done the same thing myself, when I've been worried about my wife. When you do finally get hold of them, you are emotionally drained, relieved, and a little bit angry.

"Are you, OK!!!?" you demand of them.
"I had the cell phone turned off," they say, or, "It was in my purse and I didn't hear it ring." They even seem a bit puzzled by your concern. In your mind, they were stranded somewhere, or kidnapped, or worse.

My point (and I'm sorry for the long ramble) is that technology isn't exactly the culprit here, it's the way we let it change what we expect. The ability to reach out and touch someone no matter where they are makes us fear the worse when it ceases to be possible.

I think there are plenty of other similar relationships between technology and expectation, but I'll let someone else look at them, my lunch break is almost over.

--
Looking for automated code conversion services?
(COBOL, Fotran, PL/I, Assembler to COBOL, C, C++, C#, Java, etc.)
Check out Datatek, Inc. [datatek-net.com]

Technology or New Technology? (2, Insightful)

authenticgeek (706168) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399554)

Growing up with certain technology, I feel like a lot of technology simply makes my life easier with a lot less stress. There is an intrinsic understanding of this technology (programming VCRs, being able to operate a computer without many erros and whatnot - simple stuff) that allows many people of my age to use these things flawlessly. I think it's stressful for people who need to learn something new (my father trying to program the VCR for example or even myself when I'm working with a new programming language or something like that) and have a hard time adjusting to it.

I <3 my $0.02

Great Idea (1)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399556)

Sounds like a great idea. Just make sure to mention the Microsoft Windows Operating System. Windows has caused me more stress than anything I have ever messed with before -- even girls.

I'm not trying to troll -- that's my honest opinion from the stressful point of view. It's not fun at all when you're typing up a long report... and even when you tell Word to save it after every 3 minutes, it doesn't, the OS crashes, and you lose your progress.

Aside from that, I'd probably have to say typos inside of scripts. I hate when I debug and have to go back to fix a lot of things before I can actually run my program. I know that's more of a "me thing," but it's pretty damn stressful.

Also, the unnatural things such as Viruses and Spyware cause a great amount of stress (and anger).

Technology lets me work from home (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399559)

Getting rid of the commute is a real stress buster. That and refusing to own a cell phone. And hydroponic weed and my treadmill. So I'd have to say technology is a real stress buster. (Except for cell phones, of course)

How technology stresses one out ... (1)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399562)

I figured I'd log on to the new-fangled Internet and see if I couldn't wrangle up some help with a term paper. I should have this thing done shortly with as little delay as possible.

Do your own homework!

Of course. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399563)

I work as a tech support monkey

so in my job I see a strong corellation between stress and technology.

Not my stress, of course, but stress nonetheless.

Technology wasn't intended to reduce stress. (1)

bad enema (745446) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399564)

Its intention, motivated by capitalism, was and is to increase worker productivity and efficiency.

And no I'm not talking about the Ultramatic Bed. I'm talking about technology in the workplace.

GUIs (1)

ms8423 (585674) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399565)

You raise an interesting point. In my personal experience stress resulting from computer technology largely depends on the software I was running at the time. A {windowmanager,desktop,GUI} which reacts too slow can cause stress for me. I believe that less is sometimes more in this case. A small, lightweight window manager, properly configured, reacting fast is alleviate much of the stress. Interestingly enough the GUI of the graphics program GIMP [gimp.org] sped up my work on images tremendously, once I got a window manager which supported tabs so that I could group utility windows together, thus taking up less screen space.

Now an argument for the "other side". The integrated work environments (KDE, Gnome) when providing coherent interfaces can also speed up work, alleviating stress.

All in all however, technology is only a small contributor to my stress levels.

A different kind of stress (1)

BunkAsInBed (686400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399569)

I'm a programmer and think that technology brings with it a unique kind of stress. I've worked jobs like a cashier at burger king, picking tobacco, and a paper route and can say they cause what I would consider "normal stress", that consists of both physical and mental aspects. Programming in a stressful situation however leaves me trying to keep complete focus for very long periods of time with little of no physical exertion. This kind of stress leaves me in need of excercise like sports and beer to recover. With "normal stress" I need a nap afterward.

Less stressful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399570)

Technology is only stressful if you don't know how to manage your time, or if you don't know how to use it, or both.

For example, e-mail. A great and free method of instantaneous communication. If you constantly check your e-mail instead of getting work done, don't blame e-mail. Perhaps you should learn to use the automatic notification features? Or if it's too much e-mail, maybe you should learn how to use filters? Or to stop viruses, maybe you should not click on every attachment, or switch to another, better, e-mail reader?

Another, older, time-waster is TV. Maybe you're not getting enough sleep because you insist on watching Jay Leno or Craig Kilborne -- then wake-up late and rush out the door to work, thus causing more stress?

I was going to say more, but I'm wasting too much time already by posting. Good luck!

Well, looking at it from a college student's POV (1)

ABaumann (748617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399574)

Of course CS and tech related majors are going to be more stressed out then your average theater major, business major or the like. We have hard classes. They have hard parties.

Fill to caoacity (2, Insightful)

Wubby (56755) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399582)

I see stress as a limiting factor in what can be accomplished in life. Regardless of the technologies available to a person, stress can be increased, and will be (as needed) until it effects the job.

It's all about capacity. Technology may have made our jobs easier (in comparison to the pre-technology period), but by freeing that capacity for other tasks, tasks are thusly assigned. Jobs now include more, and capacity is tested again to find the point at which stess creates the limit.

Yeah, that sounds good.

Technology is soothing, life is stressfull (1)

Catamaran (106796) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399585)

I love to tinker on the computer, except at work. I love to tinker on the car, except when I need to get somewhere.

Just the opposite. (1)

hehman (448117) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399589)

If technology gives you stress, it's because you've let it. Having a cell phone so I know I won't be stranded by the side of the road reduces stress. My iPod is the best stress reducer I've ever bought.

Technology==Information!=Stress (1)

Eric Savage (28245) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399594)

Technology for the most part increases the knowledge and information available to you. If more of that causes stress to you, I think you need to give some deep thought as to why.

Much less stress (1)

egarland (120202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399603)

Technology rarely causes me stress. People cause me stress.

Unless you are in a technology support roll, machines rarely grab your attention and make you do something. People, however, do that all the time.

In fact, I telecommute almost every day which dramatically reduces my stress level.

Physical Stress, Mental Stress, and brain-use (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399611)

By technology, I assume that the general target was computers? Well, first of all I think that in many computer situations physical stress is definately not that uncommon.

Given the assortment of odd chairs, desks, keyboard, mice, etc etc that one has to use... somewhere along the line most people don't exactly work in an ergonomic environment.

And of course, there's always mental stress. Computers allow you to - in many situations - do more (in less time). Often this can mean more work. Computers are also not always 100% reliable... and Murphy's Law basically says that it will demonstrate this at the worst of all times.

But remember, technology is in many ways tied to knowledge. You can do more, you can learn more. And remember, sometimes ignorance is bliss. Got a computer, got internet? Read SLASHDOT?? Well, now you may know a fair bit more about the world around you... but is what you know more worrysome or less? Evil corporations, evil politicians, your grandma who never reads news or enters discussion boards online doesn't have to worry about these things.

And of course the last things is that complexity in design leads to complexity in repair. If your old typewriter got a stuck key, you could perhaps unjam it with some pliers, a screwdriver, maybe some oil. Try unjamming your hard-drive after it seizes... not so easy.

Of course, technology also brings us PR0N, so I suppose that as a matter of "stress relief" there is some equivilence in things.

BOFH (1)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399613)

BOFH! [theregister.co.uk]

as technology lets things be done faster... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8399614)

the margin for error goes away...

when people expected widgets to be produced in 3-4 days, spending an extra 10 minutes at lunch, or 1/2 hour fixing something wasn't a critical flaw.

when widgets can be produced in 2 hours, there's no time to make up for any unscheduled problems, be they human or mechanical.

Big Picture (4, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399617)

I don't worry about my next meal, or being the next meal of a predator.

I never want for clean water.

I have clothes that will protect me from nearly any weather conditions I am likely to encounter.

I have a mode of transportation that can easily take me from place to place at 100 miles per hour, in total comfort.

I expect to live to fully twice the age I would expect absent technology.

In spite of my "unnatural" long life I expect my shelter to last even longer . . . unless the land becomes more valuable than the building on it.

If anyone comes into that shelter to take what I have I can poke .44 inch holes in him without breaking a sweat, then call someone miles away to collect the body without even raising my voice.

I like technology. Makes life much less nasty, brutish, and short.

-Peter

PS: I anxiously await a counter-argument about car accidents, chemical food preservatives, and chemical warfare.

An extra point if you refrain from mentioning President Bush. Half a point if you mention him, but manage to refer to him by a proper name and/or title.

-P

My stress (1)

dtio (134278) | more than 10 years ago | (#8399618)

This [onjava.com] is my main source of stress and frustration on a daily basis.

Pity is also my main source of income.

I guess you can't have everything.

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