There is a rage deep within most of us humans, it seems, waiting to be unleashed at the very second that one of our machines malfunctions or a base station signal to our home falter in its reach.
In a new study, eight out of ten Swedes say they suffer from technology anxiety, describing feelings of rage and panic when their devices fail. Now however, there is help to be found. Telia Company and Swedish startup Tech Buddy has launched the service Personal Technician.
Helplessness, frustration, panic, dizziness, rage, despair and a racing heartbeat – these are but a few of the symptoms mentioned by respondents in the new study by Telia Company and research company Ipsos. Also according to the study, nearly half of Swedes lack both the time and the motivation to deal with any technology mishaps on their own. They get someone in to help – a friend, a family member or a friendly neighbor.
Moreover, more than half of the respondents would be willing to hire a professional to solve the problem.
And there are problems. Swedish people own more than 57 million connected devices in total – which comes out to almost 14 devices in each household. And 75 percent of Swedes spend 4,7 hours a month poking and banging on these devices in the hope that it will bring them back to life. Only one out of five actually enjoys trying to fix a downed connection or a blacked-out device.
“Swedes love new technology, and they are often quick to get the latest,” says Jonas Hasselberg, Head of Consumer at Telia Company. “But there is a flipside – the enormous frustration that failing technology triggers. This study shows, among other things, that problems with the home Wi-Fi connection, installing new programs and apps and connecting several devices to each other are common causes of anxiety in Swedes.”
Now, Telia wants to put an end to the anxiety. The company has already tested the service Personal Technician, in more than 600 calls. Now this service, which involves a skilled lover of tehnology arriving to help fix the problem, is available in 42 cities and areas in Sweden.
Those who used the service so far rates it at 8,4 out of ten.
So, Jonas Hasselberg, humans are the most developed species on earth, with the ability to question our environment and constantly reexamine ourselves. How come evolution has not yet equipped all of us with the ability to stay calm and carry on with our lives even through technological breakdowns? What is it about technology that can overwhelm us so with rage and despair?
“That’s an interesting question. Our homes have on average 13-14 devices from several different suppliers. In Sweden, we are also very connected. In addition, new devices appear constantly which aim to improve everyday life for us. So in a way, connectivity and devices are becoming a natural, intrinsic part of our lives. Consequently, we’re going to be frustrated when our lives are not going the way we want them to go. With Personal Technician we want to put an end to that frustration.”
Josefine Forssell, CEO of Tech Buddy in Sweden, agrees.
“Staying updated with the latest technology, and to make it work, is sometimes difficult. This service takes the fast technological advancement head-on and enables a connected and worry-free life. Through our cooperation with Telia we can help more customers as well as give them advice about sustainable use,” she says.