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Over A Third of Americans Confess to Verbal or Physical Abuse—Of Their Computers: New Harris Study Reveals the Extent of Frustration, Anger and Helplessness Spurred By Computer Problems

New research released by memory upgrade provider Crucial.com reveals interesting insight into how Americans are choosing to vent their frustrations when confronted with computer problems.

According to a nationwide online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Crucial.com in June 2013, 36% of those Americans who experienced computer problems in the past 6 months admit that at some point in the last six months, they have lashed out at their slow, underperforming computers by using profanity, screaming and shouting, or by striking it with a fist or other object. In addition to the verbal and physical abuse, those who experienced computer problems also indicated that computer problems have taken an emotional toll on them by eliciting feelings of frustration (65%), anger (10%), helplessness (10%) and victimization (4%).

“We’ve become so dependent on our computers and think of them as helpful partners, making it that much more painful when they betray us at the worst possible time,” said Roddy McLean, Crucial.com e-commerce marketing manager, in a news release.

When asked who or what is most to blame for their computer problems, nearly half of adults* (46%) cited viruses or malware, 16% said they were not sure what the cause was, 12% of adults* blamed themselves for their computer mishaps, 10% pointed to installed software, and 8% suspected insufficient memory (RAM) as the prime culprit.

When compared to those aged 35 and over, young adults* (aged 18-34) seemed more apt to resort to abusive behavior such as cursing (39% vs. 25%), screaming (29% vs. 12%) or hitting it with their fist (12% vs. 2%) as a result of frustration and anger caused by their computer not meeting expectations. Young adults also outpaced all others when it came to crying, with 7% of 18-34 year olds admitting to having cried at some point in the past 6 months as a result of their computer problems, compared to only 2% of those 35 and over.

*Adults who experience computer problems

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Crucial.com from June 25-27, 2013 among 2,074 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,816 have experienced computer problems. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Edited by Richard Carufel

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