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When Your Most Significant Other is a Computer

by grimgraphix / October 9, 2007 1:43 AM PDT
It?s the relationship you spend more time on than any other. It has deepened even during the past few years. When things go wrong, you become enraged and tearful and attack inanimate objects?but you?re willing to spend hours making things right.

Obviously, we?re talking about your relationship with your personal computer.

Consider this: In a survey earlier this year, 64 percent of Americans say they spend more time with their computer than with their significant other. Meanwhile, 84 percent said they were more dependent on their computer than they were three years ago.

They were surprised, Rodio said, to find that computer problems could unleash such powerful emotions. When confronted with a dead computer, 19 percent admitted to wanting to hurl it out the nearest window, 9 percent felt stranded and alone, 11 percent used language normally reserved for special occasions, 7 percent did so loudly, 3 percent did so tearfully and 3 percent additionally vented their wrath on inanimate objects. (They were not asked about animate targets?it was a survey, not a police blotter.)

On the other hand, a healthy 32 percent said that they basically shrugged.

The respondents (who were all over 18, owned a PC and enjoyed broadband Internet access) estimated they spent an average of 12 hours a month wrestling with computer problems. Unsurprisingly, 48 percent said they would rather help a friend move than deal with a computer problem. Thirty percent said they currently felt more frustration with their computer than they felt three years ago.


Computer problems get in the way of getting my work done but I am fortunate enough to hardly ever have them, whether with my MS or my apple computers. I spend more time waiting for projects to render, than dealing with actual hardware or software problems. I will say that I appreciate the simplicity of the apple computers I use. I freely admit that apple computers don't offer their users as much choice in hardware or software (or price)... but limiting your choice also limits the amount of problems that can occur, IMO.

As someone who spends so much time on a computer for a variety of professional activities... I have to say that projects involving the internet and web page design have come to be annoying and mundane for me. Web pages are a never ending chore where all you do is finish for the day, and then spend your free time trying to develop more content to post the next time. I view building web pages as akin to washing dishes. The only thing I really enjoy personally getting on the internet for, is sites such as these forums, that allow for some interaction with other people. I can understand why social networks have come to dominate the web as one of its dominant activities. On the other hand, I find jobs involving photography and video editing/production the most fulfilling. I think it is because I feel I am producing a project with a direction and definable goal.
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