Technosis

There is a new mental condition to look out for, people.
Try this self-diagnosis and let me know how you did in the comments below.

Do you feel stressed if you haven’t checked your voice or e-mail within the last 12 hours? Yes/No
Do you feel as if you can’t cook a meal without technological gadgets? Yes/No
Do you become upset when you can’t find an ATM for quick cash? Yes/No
Do you have difficulty writing without sitting in front of your computer? Yes/No
Do you have a hard time determining when you are finished researching a topic on the Internet? Yes/No
Do you feel less adequate than your highly technologized peers? Yes/No
Do you rely on pre-programmed systems to contact others? Yes/No

In their book, TechnoStress: Coping With Technology @WORK @HOME @PLAY (available here), Michelle M. Weil, Ph.D. and Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D. assert that the growing dependence on technology affects us negatively.

We count on our machines to do so much that when something goes wrong with our technology we are thrown into a tailspin. According to Weil and Rosen (1998):

People allow themselves to be sucked into this technological abyss, and in doing so they become more machine-oriented and less sensitive to their own needs and the needs of others. Some people become so immersed in technology that they risk losing their own identity.

That’s Technosis, a condition whose victims develop an attachment to technology. It grows slowly, but before patients know it, they have lost sight of where they end and technology begins.

Symptoms of Technosis include overdoing work and never feeling finished, believing faster is better, and not knowing how to function successfully without technology. It’s now a peer-reviewed clinical condition, and almost everyone I know suffers from it – probably you, dear reader, too.

Happy Xmas!

Published by

Tom Saunter

I like to think about the media, technology, pop-culture & the future. When not blogging, I tweet @freedimensional & work @MediaComUK. Feel free to visit my Personal Bio to learn more about me.

  • I don’t deny that some people might suffer from “TechnoStress” but it strikes me that the concept is a bit overdone.

    Indeed, in the scholarly literature, researchers have clearly found that many, many people are “late adopters” of new technologies, because they don’t want to get stressed out (and for other reasons such as innate lifestyle conservatism, economics etc).

    So it’s a nice term and perhaps appropriate for the “nerds” and hi-techies of this world (the audience for the authors’ lectures), but it does not really apply to most “sane” people who do not get immediately “sucked in” by every new gadget — and when there is a mass migration to a new product (e.g. iPod) it is precisely because that gadget is highly user-friendly and REDUCES techno-stress!

  • I don’t deny that some people might suffer from “TechnoStress” but it strikes me that the concept is a bit overdone.

    Indeed, in the scholarly literature, researchers have clearly found that many, many people are “late adopters” of new technologies, because they don’t want to get stressed out (and for other reasons such as innate lifestyle conservatism, economics etc).

    So it’s a nice term and perhaps appropriate for the “nerds” and hi-techies of this world (the audience for the authors’ lectures), but it does not really apply to most “sane” people who do not get immediately “sucked in” by every new gadget — and when there is a mass migration to a new product (e.g. iPod) it is precisely because that gadget is highly user-friendly and REDUCES techno-stress!