Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Latest Malady Facing Us? Computer Stress Syndrome

I suspect we all know the feeling. A few weeks back my work laptop wound up with the dreaded blue screen of death and it took my IT guys three days to get it back to normal, so I was definitely in the grips of Computer Stress Syndrome.
Crashing machines, slow boot times, and agony dealing with technical support have Digital Age people suffering from Computer Stress Syndrome, a study available online Tuesday found.

"Today's digitally-dependent consumers are increasingly overwhelmed and upset with technical glitches and problems in their daily lives," a communications industry think tank said in a report entitled "Combating Computer Stress Syndrome."

The report identified sources of peoples' pain as "frustrating, complex computers and devices, technical failures, viral infections, and long waits to resolve support issues."

Findings were based on a survey of more than 1,000 people in North America by a Customer Experience Board created by the Chief Marketing Officer Council to look into how to keep customers happy in the highly competitive communications sector.

"The reality is that numerous, persistent problems are troubling most computer users, creating unnecessary anguish and anxiety as a result," the study found.

"Digitally dependent users are getting fed up and frustrated with the current state of computer related stress, and clearly looking for a better way to address and reduce it."

Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said they depend on computers in their personal lives.

Nearly two-thirds of computer users have needed to contact technical support or have experienced Computer Stress Syndrome (CSS) in the past year, according to the study.

"Users face a continuous state of technical anxiety and challenge such as setting up new computer products, keeping up with software upgrades and migrating to new applications and operating systems, as well as dealing with malware infections, web threats, identity theft and more," the study said.

Forty percent of computer users have experienced system failures in the past year and more than half have had to reach out for help fixing technical problems, according to Pew Center Research cited in the report.
Can a government program to relieve our stress be far behind?

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