The spinning wheel, the ticking clock or the hourglass - a familiar icon for waiting is now a pervasive theme for a culture that increasingly relies on digital processors in daily activities. The Intel Corporation has coined a new
term in technology: the "Hourglass Syndrome," not a real syndrome or medical condition but "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," as covered in PCB007's coverage of their new findings.
A July 2010 technology online study conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Intel, documented just how commonly computer users lose their patience:
eight out of 10 (80%) U.S. adults get frustrated waiting for technology
about half (51% have done something out of character when frustrated while waiting for technology
of those who admitted acting inappropriately while waiting, 62% 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%) or bang on their computer screen and keyboard (24%)
of those who have acted or seen someone act inappropriately in public due to frustrations with technology, 70% saw strangers, 46% have seen family or friends and 33% have seen co-workers act out in frustration while waiting for technology
Not only does uncooperative technology increase stress, frustration, and even violence in users, it causes people to miss out on non-digital activities. Because they were waiting for their computer, more than one third of U.S. adults (35%) said that they missed out on something, such as losing an opportunity to participate in an online sale (13%), or purchase an airline, concert or sporting event ticket.
Intel ties this study into the launch of their 2010 Intel Core processors, which promise to assuage the Hourglass Syndrome with the promise of smarter technology, higher speeds and saved energy. Intel's psychology expert Cooper Lawrence also recommends taking stress-management measures.