Wayne Adult Community Center

From the February, 2007 Cyberspace News

Time Savers

  Do some tasks and/or people seem like a waste of time?  Like the time spent waiting for a customer service representative or the  slow checker at the supermarket?  Some time-wasters are inevitable, but some are avoidable.  Here are some time-savers courtesy of the website http://senior.lifetips.com (note the absence of the www in this web address):

§     To save time and avoid longer waits at the doctor’s office, schedule wisely.  Avoid Mondays and days following a holiday. 

§    To dry out wet boots or shoes, use a hair dryer on the inside of them.  This way, you won’t have to dry them overnight.

§     Avoid crowds at the bank or post office by avoiding peak hours.  In other words, don’t go between the hours of noon and 2PM and all day Friday.

§     To avoid crowds at the grocery store, shop between 2 and 4PM or in the early morning.  Also, shopping during major sporting or entertainment events will save you time.

§     Schedule time for yourself every day.  If you plan on doing chores or errands the entire day, what do you have to look forward to?  And make sure your “me” time is enjoyable.  No sneaking chores in!

§     Keep a pen and paper next to your bed for all those things you remember before you go to sleep.  Often, the mind is most productive before it relaxes at the end of the day.

§     If you don’t want to turn on a light and sit up to write notes during the night, consider a small, solid-state voice recorder.  Some people even carry one with them during the day.

§     Avoid waiting for the plumber by taking care of your drains now.  Use one cup of baking soda and add one cup of vinegar.  When the solution foams, flush with a tea-kettle full of boiling water.

Arrrgh!  Technology! 

Technology is fun, convenient,  exciting—and maddening!  Have you ever wanted to slap your monitor or throw that mouse?  If so, you’re not alone.  In fact, computer rage has joined road rage as one of the most common emotions of the 21st century.

   Of course, taking vengeance out on inanimate objects is nothing new. 

We’ve been doing it to our cars (kicking the tires or banging on the steering wheel) and appliances (slamming the refrigerator door) for years. 

   Kent Norman, a University of Maryland psychology professor,  researches and observes computer rage variations.  He has a Computer Rage website (note the absence of the www in this web address) at http://lap.umd.edu/computer_rage/index.html which contains a survey about angry behavior.  Responses to this survey indicate that women are more frustrated with computers than men, that more than 75% of men and women have cursed at their computers, and more than 20% have slammed down a mouse, popped out keyboard keys, and scratched or bent CD ROMs in anger.

   Norman identifies many common frustrations: computer crashes      requiring rebooting; waiting for a computer to do something; computer glitches resulting in having to redo work; difficulty reading computer screens; baffling documentation; and, unhelpful Help Desks.

He describes frustration as a natural human emotion. Most human behavior is goal-directed, aiming to accomplish something. We solve problems to conquer barriers between us and our goals. But obstacles to those goals can cause frustration, and when that frustration can't be controlled or channeled, it turns to rage.

   Or could it be that the more reliable technology becomes, the more angry and frustrated we become when it lets us down?

   Still, it’s important to remember that things usually work — the PC prints your letter, it connects to the Internet, you are able to view Web pages — which should help us to deal with the times they don't.

Professor Norman suggests that, rather than bottling up one's frustration with technology and entering into "techno-frustration denial," we should allow frustrated users to vent in safe, controlled, and vicarious way.  His website describes some venting procedures and offers links to some entertaining videos, as a means for safely blowing off steam.

   So rage on.  Just don’t hurt anybody...or thing.

Source:  www.aarp.org