Promoting Kindness Towards Computers

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It occurred to me the other day, I wonder what would happen if we extended the same kindness to computers that we do to people? Would it make a difference in how they operate? Now, you might be wonderingmotherboard-fire whatever caused me to think that, but I’ve noticed that some people who have trouble with mechanical or electronic devices are rough or angry with them and always expect them to break down. These people sport a “what trouble are you going to give me today, you bucket-o-bolts?” attitude. And so what do they get? Trouble. Things malfunctioning, constantly. It looks like they are getting what they expect!

As for me, I talk to my car. (I know, I’m a little strange… but just pleasantly so!) I tell it that it’s a good little car, it works so well, and I coax it a little when it’s cold out and no one wants to go anywhere, including my reliable, 9-year-old car. Does that make it work any better? Well, let the evidence speak for itself: aside from replacing the brakes, which I gather is pretty normal for a car its age and with its mileage, I have had to do very little work on it. It’s a Japanese car, so it’s no lemon to start with, but I have to think that my sweet-talking is helping it work smoothly! I could try an experiment where I yell at and belittle my car, but I just don’t want to do that! I am afraid of what stretch of remote highway I might get abandoned on!

There’s another reason I don’t want to try that experiment. I believe that what you put “out there” is what you get back. It doesn’t matter whether it’s people or electronics we are talking about. It’s how you treat the universe, so to speak, that matters, and it responds accordingly. At times, it might even be easier to be understanding with a device than a person, depending on how much emotional baggage you have with that person. I am not saying that objects have feelings and actually care about how they are treated, but the general attitude that you approach life with will show in your surroundings. If you have a lot of trouble with electronics/computers, check your attitude and see what you are projecting. Some people have interpersonal troubles because of how they treat others… could you be having electronics troubles because of how you treat them? I don’t know, I’m just saying it’s a possibility!

handsandcomputersAlso, does it strike you as being two-faced to be sweet and kind to the dog, for example, but then yelling at the computer? It’s like being nice to your neighbour on one side and positively acidic to the one on the other! Not a very consistent way to live. Why not treat everything/everyone with basic respect and kindness (although you don’t have to be everyone’s best friend or necessarily love your computer).

Let me know what you think of this — am I totally out to lunch or do you get what I’m saying? Try an experiment with kindness versus anger towards objects and let me know how it goes (but make sure no one gets hurt in the process)!

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