Blog Post

Ever Yelled at a Slow Computer? You're Not Alone

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.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Crispin Semmens

12 Responses to “Ever Yelled at a Slow Computer? You're Not Alone”

  1. rcmichelle

    Hi, guys. I got same problem with you. I bought my Dell inspiron last Christmas. It worked sharp at the first few months, but got slow after that. It took about 15 mins to start up. I can even walk away and brew my coffee during waiting! I even thought about reinstall my computer! My friend recommended the software tuneup360 and Norton systemwork. I tried both. Norton did look really powerful and could do lots of thing, but it was too difficult for me and too expensive, while Tuneup360 is my type. I just need to click one big “fix now” button and get my computer fixed. Now my computer takes only 30 sec to start up.

  2. rcmichelle

    I don’t know why. Everybody is talking registry cleaning now. It seems your computer can be faster if you clean registry, so I try the tuneup360. It is not free, but it will give a free license if I agree to do a customer survey. I do feel my computer runs faster after that.

  3. Did you ever notice it is always the monitor that receives the wrath and not the box under the table? People are frustrated at the visual manifestation of the problem and not the source of the problem itself.

    I should know. I used to work for a company that sold overhead dynamic message signs you find in subway systems around the country. People yell at the sign saying something wrong.

  4. Hmmm..interesting that Intel should run this survey. Perhaps they missed a question – what chips power these devices which have been receiving these heaps of praise? Oh, btw, the iPad doesn’t seem to receive similar accolades. Wonder why.

    To be fair, it is not only the chips but more importantly, also the software that makes us wait. And am glad that Intel being the chips leader is sensitive to hourglass syndrome. Now I’d like to see if Intel can make chips that do not contribute to this syndrome.

  5. I had done it once when my pc is not responding accurately, but not to the extent that I will break my pc. You break it, you buy one again. What about swearing your ISP for giving a slow net connection? I saw a lot of people swearing these companies.