Monday, January 27, 2014

stress relievers for the 21st century


To be honest, sometimes (often) I'm convinced every (many) gadget we bring into our lives just keep adding stress to it. Since they are rarely flawless and when they don't work as they are supposed to (which, come on, happens more often than we like to admit) we spend lots and lots of times fuming and tearing our hair, not being able to fix it ourselves and not getting the speedy service from helpdesk or customer service we need (and pay for).

But nevertheless these gadgets, upon them we often depend (or in some cases get addicted) both as work tools and entertainment thingies. They can certainly bright our lives up in certain aspects. And make work run smoother.

That is, when they work as they are suppose to.

My threesome above are things that can as easily be stress relievers as stress instigators, depending on how they act. But right now I prefer to look at them as relievers, since at this moment in time (touch wood) they do work. So

a) My new friend the pocket wi-fi, a mobile broadband I can use at home but also bring with me as I please.

As I've been moaning about for over a month now, my broadband hasn't been working in a pleasing way at all. The week before Christmas it began acting up in a bad way regularly. I had hopes it would be something temporary, I find that contacting customer service is just such a time-consuming task in general when it comes to these things and they are rarely very helpful. There are always some excuse for it not working. Either it isn't their fault or they can't see anything being wrong with the connection 'are you sure you've checked your cables and routers and whateverish out properly?'

This has also been a recurring issue for these past ten plus years with my internet provider, Telia (the largest telephone network operator in Sweden, used to be a public authority and also the only phone operator when there was still a monopoly in Sweden). All these years when I've regularly contacted the customer service because of the broadband not working they have never admitted to anything being wrong with it, but it has miraculously begun working again after the contact. In general though over the years it has never worked as well as it should do given the service I pay for.

Many times have I thought about unsubscribe and change my internet provider, but somehow it boils down to a case of plague or cholera. This time though I had enough. After having dealt with the customer service asking really stupid questions (which I had already answered) when I reported the failing broadband connection, after a technician visit who claimed it was the old modem's fault but it then turned out it wasn't. Two weeks without any proper internet connection at all at home (for some reason the computer can't connect to my iPhone, but it can connect to M's, so I had to work during nights to get things done), a lack of sleep and no solution in sight I simply had enough. I broke up with Telia (as far as the internet goes, still have them as provider of landline and mobile, but I will certainly look into other solutions there too). And never has a break up felt so good.

Fingers crossed my new provider and its pocket wi-fi will serve me well for a long long time to come.

b) Yes the iPhone is a fabulous gadget in many ways - even though it leaves you feeling very fragile and exposed when it gets stolen... - but really, one of its very less than pleasing features is the fact that it really needs to get recharged so often (at least for us who takes lot of pictures and edit). I'm not at all pleased about the fact that we're so dependent on electricity and available sockets with all these new gadgets.

c) This is a seriously nifty thing - if one is able to look pass the part of depending on things needing to charge so often - the pocket charger. I've had it for a couple of years now. And I have to say that the (stupid) stress I felt when I couldn't find an available socket when out and about is no more, since I always have this one charged and ready to help in my handbag. Fully charged it can recharge an iPhone five times around.

All these gadgets, all these things we depend on these days, how they've changed our lives and habits. Not sure if its for the better or not. Most days I think it's awesome, but when they act up and there isn't a simple solution to the nuisance I question that. And think about the countless hours and days we spend trying to solve all these new problems of the 21st century, of the 21st century gadgets.

I guess the stress relief or stress cause is a case of the daily form. At this moment (keep touching wood) I prefer to see them as relievers. And oh did that break up felt good! It cheered me up, to finally say, enough, be gone. What a relief.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

By themselves, these gadgets are neutral. It’s how we use them that defines whether they are stress relievers or stress instigators, as you call them. In a way, they are the extension of our character. For instance, there was this certain game on mobile phones that frustrated a lot of people because it was too hard to play. I think this game showed the over-competitiveness of these people, so instead of just enjoying the game, they were too determined to gain high scores.

Jannette Britt

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