Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Wireless Internet connection is prevalent in shopping malls, restaurants and airports. We are expected to answer emails within minutes of receiving them, and people are accustomed to having their mobile devices attached to their hands. However, with constant access and when outdated technology fails to keep up with us, stress ensues — a phenomenon that Intel Corporation is now humorously calling the “Hourglass Syndrome.” While not a real syndrome or medical condition, Hourglass Syndrome is a term coined by Intel to describe the situation that many consumers face while waiting for their technology to keep up with the speed of life.
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According to a July technology online study conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Intel, eight out of 10 (80 percent) U.S. adults get frustrated waiting for technology and about half (51 percent) have done something out of character when frustrated while waiting for technology. Of those who admitted acting inappropriately while waiting, 62 percent of U.S. adults admit to yelling or cursing out loud when their technology can’t keep up with them, while others hit their computer mouse (29 percent) or bang on their computer screen and keyboard (24 percent). Of those who have acted or seen someone act inappropriately in public due to frustrations with technology, 70 percent saw strangers, 46 percent have seen family or friends and 33 percent have seen co-workers act out in frustration while waiting for technology.
Have you ever missed out on the perfect concert or sporting event tickets, or found yourself seated in the back row, middle seat on an airplane because your technology could not keep up with you? The survey revealed that in addition to an increase in stress and frustration, sluggish technology often causes people to miss out on something while they are waiting. More than one third of U.S. adults (35 percent) said that they missed out on something while waiting for technology, such as losing an opportunity to participate in an online sale (13 percent), or purchase airline, concert or sporting event tickets. Sound familiar? You may be experiencing the “Hourglass Syndrome.”
“We are closely connected with our devices,” noted Margaret (Margie) Morris, a clinical psychologist and health technology researcher at Intel. “They become extensions of ourselves and become critically involved in our relationships with others, how we express ourselves, and our efforts to manage stress. We enjoy the freedom to communicate and work from anywhere, so we rely on the technology to perform. When it lets us down, the disappointment runs high and sometimes spills over into our feelings about ourselves.”
In an effort to address the Hourglass Syndrome and reduce the wait, Intel introduced the new 2010 Intel Core™ family of processors, smart technology that is faster thanks to a new feature called Intel Turbo Boost Technology1. With this new feature, Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors can automatically adapt to an individual’s performance needs, giving the boost you need to speed up and saving energy when you don’t — reducing the wait for users. Applications are faster, and your PC is more responsive, even as you multi-task.
Over the past 5 years, much has changed in the way we use technology, including the launch of YouTube in 2006, Facebook exploding to more than 400 million users, high-definition (HD) content online, massive growth in digital photography sharing sites and consumers demanding faster and easier video streaming and editing capabilities. Consumers need a PC that gives them the freedom to handle it all without suffering from the Hourglass Syndrome.
“Intel understands how stressful technology can be,” said Karen Regis, director of Intel’s Consumer PC Marketing. “We are determined to design products that can improve the quality of your life and lower your stress levels, as opposed to increasing them.”
In addition to its commitment to consistently develop new and make upgrades to the brains inside of computers so that they keep up with the demands of people’s fast-paced lifestyles, Intel has teamed up with psychology expert Cooper Lawrence to provide people with tips on how to better handle stress.
“Mindful stress management is very important,” said Lawrence. “The more prepared you are, the easier it can be to manage your stress. Simple tips to deal with increased stress include having a support network, developing a sense of control and generally just changing your outlook.”