Technology has altered our expectations, and expectations have a hug impact on our lives, our happiness, our sense of security, and our ability to live a balanced, peaceful life. Unfulfilled expectations fuel negatively charged emotions such as anger, annoyance, frustration, irritation, and dissatisfaction. When you move the bar of expectations, you move the bar of fulfillment and satisfaction. As Pat Morley has often put it, "All disappointment is the result of unmet expectations." With technology, the bar of expectations isn't being moved as much as dragged ever forward.
When I got my first computer, over twenty years ago, I was so enamored and thrilled with all it could do. It was a 386 with an MS-DOS operating system and a dial-up modem. The hard drive was big, the fan was loud, and the monitor revealed a vacuum-tube television in size. I used to start it and go get a sandwich or make a phone call while it booted up. I didn't panic or become angry as it took several minutes to do what was, back then, amazing. I had a different expectation. My blood pressure didn't spike and I didn't mentally revert to using a sailor's vocabulary. I was calm, happy, and appreciative of all the things it could do.
Then technology moved my expectations.
I now routinely expect the instantaneous, the near miraculous, all as a mundane part of my day. I expect there to be zero issues when I log in to my computer. I expect to have full bars on my cell phone. I expect to log in to my favorite websites without a hitch. When this doesn't happen, I can feel anxious, resentful, and angry. All of this stuff is supposed to work when I want and how I want. And quickly. After all, I pay for it. After all, I'm in control.
The above is excerpted from chapter 7 in #Hooked: The Pitfalls of Media, Technology and Social Networking by Dr. Gregory Jantz.