Stressed Out? Blame Bad Technology
Cochin Herald|January - February 2021
There is no question that we are all more dependent on technology than ever. So what happens when that tech does not work?

In the past, Emily Dreyfuss used an old-school strategy: She yelled.

When Amazon's Alexa spat out wrong answers or misunderstood questions, Dreyfuss let the virtual assistant have it.

“I used her as a scapegoat for my feelings, said Dreyfuss, a writer and editor for Harvard's Shorenstein Center. When you have a non-sentient and annoying device in your home, who isn't doing what you want, I talked to her in not the nicest terms. And my husband ganged up on her, too.

Tech frustrations like this have happened to all of us. Your wifi is always dropping out.

Your passwords do not work. Your laptop crashes, and you lose everything you were working on. Just reading about those possibilities could be enough to raise your blood pressure.

Technology can damage our state of mind, and new research is bearing that out: Computer giant Dell Technologies, in partnership with neuroscience firm EMOTIV, put people through a gauntlet of bad tech experiences, and then measured their brainwaves to gauge their reactions.

Test subjects had trouble logging on, or had to navigate sluggish applications, or saw their spreadsheets crash.

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