Mobile Technostress

Mobile Technostress

Li Chen (Wenzhou Medical University, China)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch060
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The term “technostress” was created by Craig Brod in the1980s and further explored by Michelle Weil and Larry Rosen. With the prevalence of mobile Information and Communication Technologies (mICTs) in recent years, mobile technostress has received attention from experts in various scientific fields. Mobile technostress can be defined as any type of stress that an individual suffers from as a direct or indirect result of mobile Information and Communication Technologies (mICTs). Current studies on mobile technostress have focus on (a) components of mobile technostress, (b) antecedents of mobile technostress (c) consequences of mobile technostress, and (d) smartphone and mobile technostress. Future directions for research on mobile technostress include exploring the positive aspects of mobile technostress, considering the neurobiological perspective and development of new research methodology.
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The term technostress was originally coined by Craig Brod in 1984, a leader in the field of technostress research, who defined it in his book Technostress: the Human Cost of the Computer Revolution as: “...a modern disease of adaptation caused by an inability to cope with the new computer technologies in a healthy manner. It manifests itself in two distinct and related ways: in the struggle to accept computer technology and in the more specialized form of over-identification with computer technology” (Brod, 1984). Brod thought one symptom of technostress is anxiety. Anxiety can appear as: irritability, headaches, mental fatigue, depression, nightmares, panic, resistance, and a feeling of helplessness. The anxiety expressed by those experiencing technostress can increase errors in judgment and poor job performance if not dealt with. Outcomes of technostress include decreased job satisfaction, organizational commitment and productivity. According to Brod’ views, technostress is considered a psychosomatic illness (Brod, 1984).

Later, the term technostress was developed by Michelle Weil and Larry Rosen, who did not consider it a disease but defined it as “any negative impact on attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, or body physiology that is caused either directly or indirectly by technology” (Weil & Rosen, 1997). Two major elements-strain and stressor are applied in this definition, The first part of the definition (“any negative impact on attitudes, thought, behaviors, or body physiology”) describes the strain, and the second half of the definition (“that is caused either directly or indirectly by technology”) describes the stressor. Obviously, the concept of technostress proposed by Weil and Rosen has been modified a lot from the aspect of intension and extension. Then the subsequent studies have demonstrated that technostress has negative effects including decreased job satisfaction, organizational commitment and productivity (Ayyagari, Grover, & Purvis, 2011; Ragu-Nathan, Tarafdar, Ragu-Nathan, & Tu, 2008; Tarafdar, Tu, Ragu-Nathan, & Ragu-Nathan, 2007).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mobile Information and Communication Technologies: The portable IT artifacts that include hardware, software and network services.

Multitasking: The apparent performance that users of mICTs have to simultaneously handle more than one task.

MICT-Mediated Interruption: The continual task disruptions that users of mICTs face from connected mobile devices such as mobile computers and smart phones.

Mobile Technostress: The users of a mobile technology who are familiar with the current operating technology encountering specific stress caused by the characteristics of mobility and/or reachability of the technology or suffering for a long period of time through continual connection with that particular mobile technology.

Technostress: The negative psychological link between people and the introduction of new technologies.

Stress: A feeling of strain and pressure.

Information Overload: The difficulty a person can have understanding an issue and making decisions that can be caused by the presence of too much information.

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