Does Your iPad Make You Happy?

Joel Farr

October 28, 2011

It seems that technology these days is evolving and progressing at a rate that is impossible to keep up with. In the future, the concept in the video above will likely be a reality. I, myself, am in the computer technology field and I still can’t keep up with how fast things change. Communications technology is one arena that is advancing so fast that by the time the new iPhone comes out, there is already something better out there, or development on the next model has already begun! I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had to talk an old person through performing some sort of task on a computer, tv, or phone, and every time I do, I can’t help thinking that one day I’ll be so far behind the technology that I’ll be needing the next generation to guide me as well. Great innovators such as Steve Jobs have pioneered the way to this day and age, and for that I am grateful, but sometimes I just want to slow down and figure out what we already have!

I lived in the Philippines for a couple of years and I can honestly say that Filipinos are among some of the most humble and happy individuals I have ever met. Many of the friends I made and families I interacted with during my time there were stricken with poverty and struggled to just put food on the table. But despite their humble circumstances, I’m confident some of the happiest people in the world live there. Though I can’t say for sure, I think there is a relationship between technology and how it affects our happiness. A recent study by Harris Interactive defends my thought process with these statistics:

80% of Americans get frustrated when waiting for their computers to complete a command.

51% of Americans admit to doing something unusual (i.e. hitting the table with their fist, screaming, yada yada) because their patience runs out when they have to wait a long time because their Internet is slow.

Of that 51% of Americans above…

62% said they yelled and/or cursed.
29% said they beat the mouse.
24% said they hit the computer screen or keyboard.

And, we aren’t secretive with this behavior either!

70% said they’ve seen this behavior with strangers.
46% said they’ve seen this behavior with family members or friends.
33% said they’ve seen this behavior from a colleague.

Funny stuff huh?  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE technology, and that is why I am in the field that I am.  And believe me, if the Nokia concept in the video ever becomes a reality, I’m sure I’ll be buying in. But these statistics make you wonder if that iPad really brings as much happiness as you think it does.  Just food for thought.