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TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @Work @Home @Play Hardcover – September 25, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

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Authors Weil and Rosen are concerned about the large number of people--perhaps as much as 30 to 40 percent of the population--who are excluded from the benefits of online life and cyberculture. It's not economics or geography that keeps them away but computerphobia or other aspects of technostress. Weil and Rosen point out how only 10 to 15 percent of people are eager to adopt new technologies. About another 50 to 60 percent need to have its value proven first. The rest are resistant--even fearful--of new technology.

Unfortunately, the means used to attract these people often end up repelling them instead. They are told that things are easy when they are only intuitive for those with related experience. Personal help, whether from classes or friends, almost always comes from the 10 percent who are technophiles and don't know how to communicate with the technophobic. In addition, too many manuals and books are poorly constructed or designed for enthusiasts.

However, Weil's and Rosen's experience is that even computerphobes can become confident computer users in just five hours or less when taught with appropriate techniques. In Technostress, the authors look at where stress due to technological advance comes from and how it can be overcome. They examine the problems caused by conflicting learning styles. They also discuss the stresses computers can cause in the home, where suddenly it's the child rather than the parent who's always right, or in business, when machines that are put in place to aid productivity cause stress-related problems instead. Weil and Rosen offer a variety of solutions to these problems based on realistic approaches to education and training, as well as an understanding that not every new technology is necessary for everyone.

Review

TechnoStress, by Michelle Weil and Larry Rosen, is essentially a self-help book for people who panic at the sight of computers. The authors are clinical psychologists and experienced computer users who, despite their frequent criticisms of computer products and their impact on our lives, are not Luddites. Think of them as comparable to Clifford Stoll (hacker, MSNBC commentator and author of Silicon Snake Oil)--but not as funny. Despite some excesses, most of the book stays on level ground, providing tips for making life easier in the information age. These include online etiquette; how to develop an online ego; how to place limits on the intrusion of pagers, cell phones and remote e-mail into your personal life; how to develop a policy for the use of technology by your children; and how to decide when to upgrade products based on your needs rather than vendors' push to sell. -- Upside, Eric Nee

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471177091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471177098
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,567,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roger E. Herman on July 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Remember the simple life, before technology? That was a long, long time ago. Technology, in various forms, has been in our lives for many years. More recently, however, technology has combined with an increased velocity in the pace of our lives, causing considerable stress: technostress.
Who better to write about this phenomenon than a technology consultant and a psychologist-turned-researcher? What a team for the topic! The integration of their work was obvious and appropriate throughout the book. Weil and Rosen explain in understandable phrasing the origins of our technostress at work, at home, at play and in society overall. But, they don't stop there. The authors also explain in careful steps what to do to control technostress to lead more comfortable, yet productive, lives.
Weil and Rosen help us understand that 80-90 percent of us are not embracing all this technology as rapidly as we all think we (everyone else) are. "Because technology is being thrust upon them at a pace and volume greater than they desire, this vast majority of the populace is also experiencing technostress."
It is easy to see how technology has taken over our lives, the authors observe, as they note that technological intrusion has come from more than the ubiquitous computer. While addressing e-mail issues, they also acknowledge the impact of the microwave, television, the VCR, hand-held poker games, calculators, electronic fish-finders, and automated doggie door openers that respond to a signal from the dog's collar.
Boundaries become critically important in this technology-charged environment. We long for the "good old days" when work stopped at a predetermined hour and we were able to move into our personal and family lives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandy on April 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Thirteen years before Weil and Rosen's "TechnoStress" published, Craig Brod (1984) defined "TechnoStress" as "a modern disease of adaptation caused by an inability to cope with the new computer technologies in a healthy manner" in his book which was also entitled "TechnoStress" (with the subtitle: the Human Cost of the Computer Revolution). This definition is further refined and completed in Weil and Rosen's "TechnoStress" in which "TechnoStress" is defined as any negative impact on attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, or body physiology that is caused either directly or indirectly by technology. Technology came into our world with an implied promise that our lives would be better (such as relaxing lives with time-saving devices); however, ironically, we not only never have enough time to relax but also were demeaned by the hyper-production and hyper-distribution of the technology, which surpassed human processing ability and suppressed us with the "TechnoStress".
This book provides an innovative theoretical and empirical explanation of the modern technological revolution, and offers a useful starters guide to the technologically challenged individual and professional. What I like the most about this book is its honest and practical examples that seem so real and similar to our own situations. Although the authors claim that we have become "technodependent", they also provide solutions to conquer "TechnoStress". Various tips and suggestions are made to cope with "TechnoStress" and to overcome the escalating problem of information flow, which is the most well-documented form of "TechnoStress". As a seeker for the solution of information overload, I benefit a lot from the book and am sure you will too.
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I even used it as a reference for my MA.
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