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Innovation Powered by Technology
Feb. 19, 2002
A new study shows that Web rage is
becoming a workplace problem.
By David M. Ewalt
Keep a close eye on the guy in the
next cubicle. If his download times out because of network congestion, you could be in for some
serious trouble. So says a new study measuring "Web rage," or violence caused by
Internet-related frustration, performed by U.K.-based polling firm Market & Opinion Research
International. The poll found that more than half of all Internet users experience Net frustration
on a weekly basis, and one out of 10 users deal with it daily. When people get mad at the Internet,
they take out their anger in the real world. Seven percent of respondents say they hit their
equipment. Four percent pound on their desks. And 2% say they've become so upset they've hit the
person who sits next to them. Surfers say that slow-loading Web sites are the biggest cause of
irritation, followed by unhelpful help buttons and sites that require users to enter personal
details before gaining access.
But there may be more to Web rage than just aggravating
downloads, says Mark Gorkin, an expert on workplace stress and operator of StressDoc.com. "I
think this is a sign more of the transitory and vulnerable nature of the workplace today and the
sense that people are feeling like they're just pawns," he says. "This is how the anger
gets worked out, through attacking computers or even other workers." Gorkin says management
needs to work harder to repair frazzled nerves and rebuild worker confidence. In the meantime,
raging Web surfers should take some time away from the keyboard. "Don't shortchange yourself
when it comes to physical exercise," he says. "If you're feeling that stressed, get away,
walk around for a while."
Anger and Defusing Power Struggles:
Practicing Safe Stress through Team Work & Interactive Humor
24/7 world that's cycling from "lean-and-MEAN" downsizing to ever faster upgrading while
periodically spinning scarily out of control the threshold for tesnion and frustration to erupt into
damaging aggression is getting shorter. Heightened vulnerability runs the gamut -- from
individuals and teams to departments and divisions. Managing individual and systemic anger and
conflict or reducing the likelihood of a violent outburst from a rapidly changing work and family
climate is critical for individual and organizational productivity and morale.
fear, "The Stress Doc" (TM), a psychotherapist, international speaker and training
consultant (and former stress/violence prevention consultant for the US Postal Service) is here with
a dynamic and humorous presentation and interactive, inspiring and fun-filled exercises. Use
psychological judo to "drop the rope" and defuse power struggles. Learn to channel
frustration, anger and conflict into safe sharing, cooperative and creative action and team
building. Seek the higher power of humor: "May the Farce Be with You!"
Through dynamic and fun presentation and creative-interactive group exercises,
1. Discover "The Four Faces of Anger" -- how anger can have a
positive as well as problematic effect on relationships and problem-solving
the process for transforming "Hostility" and "Rage" into "Assertion"
3. Distinguish between blaming "You" and affirming
"I" messages for disarming power struggles
4. Practice an IDEAL model for active
listening and defusing dysfunctional conflict.
5. And engage in the Doc's renowned
stress reducing, team building and creatively expressive and FUN discussion/drawing exercise.
the higher power of Stress Doc humor: "May the Farce Be with You!"
miss your appointment with the Stress Doc!"
Mark Gorkin, LICSW, "The Stress
Doc" , is an internationally recognized speaker and syndicated writer on stress, anger
management, reorganizational change, team building and HUMOR! The Doc was recently featured on CBS
TV's Newspath segment -- Workplace Violence -- and in Biography Magazine. He is America
Online's "Online Psychohumorist" (Keyword: Stress Doc) leading a weekly chat
group for AOL/Digital City -- http://www.digitalcity.com/washington/stressdr DC Stress Chat. Check out his USA Today Online
"HotSite" - www.stressdoc.com Stress Doc homepage. For more info,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-232-8662 (in Wash, DC).