We all get frustrated sometimes with the failure of our computers, mobile phones and other devices to keep up with an always-on lifestyle. If this kind of frustration has ever caused you to do something “out of character,” such as shouting at your PC, slamming your mouse down on a table or swearing at a piece of technology, you are certainly not the only one. An online study by Harris Interactive (s hpol) found that more than half of U.S. adults surveyed admitted to doing something out of character, and more than 60 percent of that group said they yelled or swore out loud at a piece of technology because they were frustrated by it.
The study was financed by Intel (s intc), which came up with the humorous term “Hourglass Syndrome” to describe the frustration of waiting for technology to catch up — and, not surprisingly, to help market its microprocessors and other products as the solution to these woes. (The company helpfully notes that Hourglass Syndrome “is not a real syndrome or medical condition.”) Even if Intel has an ulterior motive in promoting the idea that we’re frustrated by our slow computers, the survey results show that lots of people feel that way, and act on it.
About 80 percent of those surveyed said they get frustrated waiting for technology, and 51 percent said they’d done something out of character. For 62 percent of those who did something, it was swearing or yelling — 29 percent slammed or hit their computer mice, while 24 percent banged on their computer screen or keyboard. Of those who said they’d seen someone else act inappropriately in public due to frustrations with technology, 70 percent saw strangers do it, 46 percent saw family or friends, and 33 percent saw co-workers do it, much like the one in the video embedded below.