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Do you suffer discomgoogolation?
Tuesday 02 September 2008 13:24:14 by Andrew Ferguson

A survey on behalf of 118118 by YouGov which questioned 2,100 Britons in easy July 2008 suggests that 44% of us admit to rising stress levels when unable to go online. A new word has arisen to describe this situation, discomgoogolation, which is based on discombobulate which means to confuse or frustrate.

Psychologist Dr David Lewis, has apparently done some research into the area observing heart rates and brainwave activity, which all indicate stress levels rise once Internet access is lost. More on the survey can be read over at uk.reuters.com.

In cases where the lack of Internet access is due to a broadband fault, a rise in stress levels may be the result of not just losing access to information at our fingertips, or worries of not being able to check our bank accounts but also the hassles many people go through when trying to get a fault fixed via their broadband provider. How many times can someone who can patently see the DSL access light on their ADSL hardware is showing no ADSL connection put up with being told to clear their computers cookies or browser cache?

Somewhat worrying information in the survey is that over half of those surveyed use web between one and four hours a day, and some 19% spent more time online than with their family. Whether this actually reflects a reduction of interaction between family members is hard to judge, as TV viewing which is the other main evening activity can often result in little or no interaction between people. Alternatively where people used to sneak off down the pub for a few hours they now go and hide in the spare room for a few hours each evening.

Comments

Posted by jerrymartin over 8 years ago
TalkTalk and Tiscali please take note!!!!!
Posted by jrawle over 8 years ago
As I've said before, it's time internet access was treated as a utility, the same as water, gas, electricity, and phone. How about measuring people's stress levels when those go off? Why is the implication always that it's OK not to have broadband? As for spending family time, the internet means those people who work in the week can spend time with the family instead of queueing in the bank and post office to pay bills on Saturday morning.
Posted by pzenz6 over 8 years ago
Not sure internet should be considered in the same 'life-dependent' way as the main utilities which I put in order of priority - water, electic, gas, phone. Phone or internet access may be needed by home workers but maybe not vital in the same way as the others?.

As far as stress is concerned, I offer the following:
There's the principle of things not working properly, which drives us techies mad.
Then there's the principle of paying for something which doesn't deliver.
Finally, and possibly the most stressful (and costly), is getting support to make the s*dding thing work again!
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
Heh, there's nowt more frustrating for a techie than to have something that has worked for months suddenly fail for no good reason.
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
Touch wood and for them being a relatively new ISP, I have found that the two occasions I needed to call them, Sky have been great and that was level one support and not their other tiered support.

Due to the way broadband has grown, I have to admit I couldn't live without it - sounds sad but if I can't get online, it narks me off and so I can understand where these people are coming from.......I'd also expect a lot of homebound people due to perhaps a disability may rate their internet access as imperative.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
wish I took part in these surveys, I just keep getting the brand index surveys, and even not had one of them for over a month now.
Posted by dragon1945 over 8 years ago
BB is a lifeline for many pensioners and disabled. With my ISP I get free phone calls to my sister in Oz. I keep in touch with old hobbyist friends via email and forums.I can order anything, and get it delivered.
Last bus back here 6 pm. Taxi home £10. Hard for a widowed pensioner to afford any sort of social life.
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