Top Researchers on the Psychology of Technology Explain a Modern Malady Affecting All of Our Lives -- TechnoStress

"Finally, someone has addressed the human side of the information revolution."

-- James D. Best, author of The Digital Revolution

Think about how you feel when:

The ATM swallows your bank card and there is no way to get it back, at least not immediately.

You need to send an e-mail to a business associate, but your online service keeps giving you a busy signal.

You walk into a public restroom and can't figure out how to turn the water on. After a few embarrassing minutes, you realize it's activated by a sensor.

These feelings of dependence, incompetence, anxiety, and frustration describe what top authorities on the "psychology of technology," Michelle M. Weil, Ph.D. and Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D., call TechnoStress. Regardless of our level of technological expertise, TechnoStress, they assert, affects every aspect of our lives, whether we're at work, at home, or at play.

In their groundbreaking new book TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @WORK @HOME @PLAY (Wiley; October 17, 1997; $22.95/Cloth), Drs. Weil and Rosen explain why we are all so overwhelmed, frustrated, and irritated at the seemingly never-ending flood of new technlogy. In the past decade we have seen technology invade our home, our cars, our movie theaters, our grocery stores, our jobs, literally every place in our lives. Every innovation - from cell phones to e-mail, from faxes to websites - demands new skills, speedier reaction times, creativity on call 24 hours a day. Technology keeps coming at us and we are told that we must adapt or fall behind. No wonder 85% of us are hesitant or outright resistant to technology! Yet no one escapes. Even the technologically savvy feel TechnoStress.

Written in a highly accessible and personal style, the authors of TechnoStress speak to each of us by putting a name to what we are all feeling. TechnoStress is pro-humanity and not anti-technology. Rather than presenting a negative view of technology, Weil and Rosen encourage readers to more forward, offering an uplifting, inspiring look at ways to master the Information Age. They offer advice to help us perform better at work, spend more quality time with our families, and experience the wonder of technology without the TechnoStress. Tips include:

Recognize that there is more technology than you will ever want or be able to use. With technology, like magazine subscriptions, you get to select what you want and only use what works for you. It's okay to leave the rest alone.

Understand that the way technology is implemented in most businesses practically guarantees TechnoStress. In their "12-phase people-centric training model," Weil and Rosen encourage corporations to provide ample time for "free play" with any new technology to insure success.

Just because technology is capable of doing multiple jobs at the same time does not mean that we are. "Multi-tasking Madness" is hitting us all as we attempt to juggle more and more. It is interfering with our sleep at night and our concentration and memory by day.

At home, family members are in their own "Techno-Cocoons," each hooked up to a different techno-gadget. Create family rules for technological use to avoid this isolating trend of the `90s and keep healthy communication alive

Arming us with the tools to retain our humanness and health, Drs. Weil and Rosen have provided an essential blueprint to creating a TechnoStress-free society. TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @WORK @HOME @PLAY teaches us that with technology, we can be the driver, and not the driven. We can live well with technology and without TechnoStress.


Michelle M. Weil, Ph.D. (Orange, CA) is a clinical psychologist and a recognized expert on technophobia who has consulted with MCI and other large high-tech firms.

Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D. (Orange, CA) is Past Chair and Professor of Psychology at California State University and co-founder (with his wife, Michelle Weil) of Byte Back Technology Consulting Services, a firm specializing in helping corporations and individuals cope with the psychological impact of technology.

More details about Dr. Weil and Dr.Rosen

TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @WORK @HOME @PLAY

By Michelle M. Weil, Ph.D. and Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D.

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Publication Date: October 17, 1997

$22.95, Cloth/ ISBN: 0-471-17709-1

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More information on related topics can be found at either Dr. Weil's or Dr. Rosen's web sites.

E-mail Dr. Weil or Dr. Rosen.