If you’re reading this, you have at least some computer experience and, chances are, you’ve experienced a fair amount of computer stress, from minor frustrations here and there to a virtual visit to computer hell. I’m confident in this assertion because computer stress is common to the point of being nearly universal. As our lifestyles become increasingly dependent on technology—with growing popularity of online banking, telecommuting, and personal websites, and everyone from the very young to the very old using email—it’s inevitable that things will go wrong. This fact is confirmed by research. According to a 2009 study representing over 2500 Americans, 70% of consumers are spending more time with their personal computer than with their spouse, and the typical user has computer problems, on average, once a month, and wastes around 12 hours each month trying to fix cyber mishaps. Whatever the cause of your computer stress, the following recommendations can help you minimize or avoid frustration:
Be Prepared: When dealing with computers, many of us are a little intimidated, just waning to learn the very basics and deal with the technical stuff as little as possible. An important part of being prepared is to have the right frame of mind: realize that there’s a lot of potential for error when working with computers, and expect a few bumps in the road. Perfectionists especially may beat themselves up over unexpected computer difficulties, but accepting that the road may inevitably have a few bumps (and knowing how to navigate those bumps) can keep your blood pressure down.
Invest In The Best:When you’re able to choose your equipment (i.e., it’s not software that your company chooses for you), it’s a good idea to invest in the best (not just the cheapest) software and hardware. Just like having a comfortable sleeping situation is important for the third of your life that you (should) spend in bed, newer and faster is better in terms of saving time and hassle, especially for those who use their computers often (which includes the majority of us). The money you may save by cutting corners isn’t worth it in the long run if you create a more frustrating daily situation for yourself with a slower and less reliable computer.
Get Easy Answers: Much of the computer stress that results from dealing with technological problems stems from not understanding the nature of the problem.
Comfort ability: We often forget that being physically uncomfortable can add quite a bit to our stress levels. That’s why it’s important to keep ergonomics in mind when setting up your computer station, as well as other factors like background noise level, privacy, and even lighting.
Practice Stress Management: Part of the intensity of computer stress involves the built-up strain of a tense body. If you can take a few minutes for some deep breathing or a short walk to get some fresh air, you will find yourself more relaxed and able to handle the potential frustration of the occasional inevitable computer mishap. Also, don't forget to maintain relationships and take time to connect with people in real life to avoid feeling isolated, which also adds to stress.