According to the authors of TechnoStress, Michelle M. Weil, Ph.D. and Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D., the best definition is “TechnoStress is our reaction to technology and how we are changing due to its influence. Over the past 15 years, as technology has become an increasingly prevalent part of our lives, we have watched TechnoStress develop and impact people in their personal lives, their family and their work environment. We are changing both internally and externally due to technology and these changes are not in our best interests physically, socially or emotionally.”
So it is that as more aspects of technology “invade” our lives, our heels get dug in with those ways with which we feel most comfortable. The need to be “in the know” and on the cutting edge falls quickly when presented with multiple ways to communicate. The glut of choices in method can sometimes yield an inability to communicate at all. Just when an institution decided that email would be the form of communication, it is pointed out that a large majority of users now don’t even bother reading email and prefer the text message. This will give way to something else which leaves the older user who simply wants a method to last more than a minute frustrated and turned off.
Librarians, however, don’t have the luxury of remaining “turned off” . Those on the cutting edge and those just trying to cope will all be in the library looking for help and the volumes of information they need to be organized are clearly not going to be done in a singular method. There’s a fine line between a desire for choice and the overwhelming feeling of too many choices and that’s what technostress has brought us. Check out Terence K. Huwe’s Building Digital Libraries the January/February 2015 issue of Computers in Libraries.