Do computers “feel” strain?

I am in the middle of scanning a few maps for my ecological restoration class. I put down a map presenting the number of thunderstoms…. in the United States and pressed scan…

Next thing I knew, I caught myself FEELING BAD for the computer! I felt sorry for having to put the computer through such great strain, by asking it to import an image via a scanner. Why did I have this feeling? Becuase the scanner window in photoshop was shaking as the lamp was moving inside the scanner. Or, at least to me it was shaking – same as a person would shake in fear, anxiety or shock. I guess what was really happening is that the window was flashing – light, dark, light, dark… I’m not sure why this is, but I’m sure it has a very logical and precise explanation.

Do we personify computers like we personify Sally the cat or George the dog? Are they any people that name their computers? I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard family members or friends say, “give the computer a rest”. I wonder if couples argue overthe decision of whether to get a pet or computer to add to their homes.

I certainly won’t grieve over the “death” of my computer when its time comes – i will be happy to replace it with a better one… I don’t know if all you cat lovers would feel the same way about your cats, and we certainly wouldn’t feel that way about a family member.

My vote is to for computers as material objects that have no emotional significance in our lives.

4 Responses to “Do computers “feel” strain?”

  1. sieber says:

    I don’t know about feeling sorry for my computer. However, when my computer decides to suddenly shut down for no apparent reason, I feel that my computer is getting revenge on me. So there are times in which I intensely personalize my computer.

    Maybe the scanner example explains it. Maybe my computer is getting back at me for plugging in all those unfriendly peripherals, like the evil wireless keyboard.

  2. Liam says:

    Ah, but perhaps you just need to commit to a long term relationship with your computer, instead of always looking for the newer and better. My computer and I have had an excellent working relationship for over 5 years now.

    That being said, I haven’t named my computer, although I notice I tend to refer to my computer as ‘she’. I suppose that’s significant in some way…

  3. pete says:

    We used to think the ghost of Dr. Rowles was causing the computer screens at our Mac campus office to shake and shimmy. Turns out it was the kettle in the kitchen. Not the best wiring in this old place, despite the surge-suppressors…

  4. donnie brasco says:

    i vote that in modern society, everything has become a ‘material object that has no emotional significance in our lives’. including other people.