PC Hypochondria


by Lance Whitney


 
	Using a computer can be hazardous to your health.  At least, that's the
	way it seems.  We're constantly hearing about all the physical problems
	that affect people who use computers, everything from back strain to bad
	eyesight.  What we DON'T hear much about are the psychological problems	
	that can strike us computer folks.  Computer users are susceptible to a
	variety of psychological disorders, and it's about time these were taken
	as seriously as carpal-tunnel syndrome.  Here are some of the most
	common psychological conditions that affect computer users, listed by
	the names they MIGHT be given by the medical community.
 
	1    PC ENVY.  What you feel when all your friends' computers are     
	     faster than yours.
	 
	2    BBS BILL BLUES.  The depression caused by your first phone
	     bill after you've used an expensive, new BBS all month.
	 
	3    VIRAL HYPOCHONDRIA.  The phobia that every little glitch or     
	     error you notice on your computer is the result of a virus.
 
	4    HARD DRIVE HOSTILITY.  The anger you feel when you bring home    
	     a powerful and exciting new software program, then discover it   
	     takes up half your hard drive.
 
	5    DELUSIONS OF GATENESS.  The conviction that if you spend
	     enough time in front of your computer, you'll someday be a
	     rich computer entrepreneur like Bill Gates.
 
	6    PC PRICE FRIGHT.  The scare you receive when you notice that     
	     the computer you bought three months ago is now half the price   
	     you paid for it.
 
	7    COMPUTER CLAUSTROPHOBIA.  What you feel when you're forced to    
	     set up your computer system in a tiny attic or closet because   
	     there's no room for it anywhere else in your home.
 
	8    FONTAL FIXATION.  The compulsion to laser print every document   
	     (even your shopping list) with fancy, elaborate fonts.
 
	9    ERROR-MESSAGE AMBIVALENCE.  The feeling you get when you see     
	     a strange error message but don't know what to do about it
	     because you can't understand the message.
 
	10   TYPEWRITER TRANSFERENCE.  What you feel when computer problems   
	     have you wondering if you weren't better off back when you
	     used a typewriter.
 
	11   SOFTWARE-SETUP SYNDROME.  Caused by spending so much time
	     setting up a software program and fiddling with its options     
	     that you never use the program to do any actual work.
 
	12   BACKUP CRACK-UP.  The total breakdown you suffer when you lose   
	     all the data on your hard drive, and the only backup files you   
	     can find are six months old.
 
	13   GAMER'S GUILT.  Remorse felt after you've spent the entire
	     afternoon playing Sim City instead of getting your work done.
 
	14   DOT-MATRIX DOLDRUMS.  Sadness felt when you tear off your dot-   
	     matrix printouts, and they rip in the middle of the page
	     rather than at the perforation.
 
	15   PC PERFORMANCE ANXIETY.  The fear that your old XT computer     
	     won't be fast enough to run all that great, new state-of-the-art 	
	     software you just bought.
 
	16   DOCUMENTATION FRUSTRATION.  What you feel when the software     
	     documentation you've turned to, to solve a problem simply
	     confuses you even more.
 
	17   PREMATURE DELETION.  These sufferers keep deleting files that    
	     they always end up needing later on.
 
	18   ACRONYMPHOBIA.  The fear of not understanding all the
	     different acronyms used in the computer industry.
 
	19   SOLITARINESS.  The inability to get past the solitaire game     
	     whenever you try to work in Windows.
 
	20   ODD-APPLE COMPLEX.  Caused by a continued preference for
	     MACintoshes, while all your friends and colleagues work on IBM-
	     PCs.
 
	21   DOS SHELL SHOCK.  The euphoria felt when you first use a DOS     
	     shell and realize you no longer have to work at that
	     cold, unfriendly DOS prompt.
 
	22   COMPRESSION DEPRESSION.  Sadness experienced when you've
	     compressed all the data on your hard drive, and you STILL
	     don't have enough room for all your software programs.
 
	23   RAMania.  The obsessive struggle to find enough memory to run    
	     all your memory-hungry software programs.
 
	24   TECHNICAL TROUBLE TRANSFERENCE.  Frustration experienced when    
	     you seek support help for a problem-and the hardware company
	     blames your software, while the software company blames your
	     hardware.
 







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