Technology has had some incredible advances in the last century… decade… year…month…and even day. It makes us more efficient and more connected. We can do things with cell phones today that we could not do a few years ago, or even a few weeks ago. Every time a new cell phone is released we can do more.
With technological advances come higher expectations. Does anyone remember the Commodore 64? (Yes, I am dating myself). I remember having to use a 5 ¼ inch floppy disk to boot up a computer. Storing data took anywhere from a couple of minutes to an eternity. Then we graduated to 3 ½ inch disks to help boot up computers and store data, but we had to be careful not to bend or scratch them. And who of my generation does not remember the blue screen of death? Technology has come a long way from those dark days.
Today computers boot up in an instant, or a few seconds…and it still feels like an eternity. Last week a friend was complaining about how frustrated he was with his new phone because it was slow. We are about the same age, so he should remember the dark days.
Advances in technology have frustrated many of us. I’ve heard stories of people shooting computers, throwing them out of a window or for a less dramatic effect, simply running them over with their car.
Why does this happen? How did we get from being content with a wait time of a few minutes to becoming annoyed in a matter of seconds? A theory developed by Clifford Nass and Byron Reeves of Stanford University titled “The Media Equation” suggests we tend to treat computers as if they were real people. We care for and bring our technology everywhere, if we forget our phones then we feel like we’re missing a part of ourselves.
Our technology has even become an extension of our personalities. The type of tech product we buy may be rooted in our values. Maybe you choose a Google product over Apple because you feel Google is doing more to better the world. Furthermore, many of us ask Alexa or Siri what the weather will be for the day or to record a certain show- we assign a human personality to them and with that comes expectation.
We must remind ourselves to be patient with technology. Nothing (and no one) is perfect, especially as we continue to evolve. Next time you find yourself getting frustrated, remember the floppy disk, and know that things will only get better from here.
“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” — Lee Iacocca
Have a great weekend,