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The story is at http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20020219S0013
Click here: InformationWeek > Internet > Count To 10, Then Read This > February 19, 2002

There will also be a shorter version in our Feb. 25 print issue.

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David Ewalt
Assistant Editor

Business Innovation Powered by Technology

Feb. 19, 2002

A new study shows that Web rage is becoming a workplace problem.
By David M. Ewalt

Keep a close eye on the guy in the next cubicle. If his download times out because of network congestion, you could be in for some serious trouble.So says a new study measuring "Web rage," or violence caused by Internet-related frustration, performed by U.K.-based polling firm Market & Opinion Research International. The poll found that more than half of all Internet users experience Net frustration on a weekly basis, and one out of 10 users deal with it daily. When people get mad at the Internet, they take out their anger in the real world. Seven percent of respondents say they hit their equipment. Four percent pound on their desks. And 2% say they've become so upset they've hit the person who sits next to them. Surfers say that slow-loading Web sites are the biggest cause of irritation, followed by unhelpful help buttons and sites that require users to enter personal details before gaining access.

But there may be more to Web rage than just aggravating downloads, says Mark Gorkin, an expert on workplace stress and operator of StressDoc.com. "I think this is a sign more of the transitory and vulnerable nature of the workplace today and the sense that people are feeling like they're just pawns," he says. "This is how the anger gets worked out, through attacking computers or even other workers." Gorkin says management needs to work harder to repair frazzled nerves and rebuild worker confidence. In the meantime, raging Web surfers should take some time away from the keyboard. "Don't shortchange yourself when it comes to physical exercise," he says. "If you're feeling that stressed, get away, walk around for a while."

Managing Anger and Defusing Power Struggles:
Practicing Safe Stress through Team Work & Interactive Humor

In a 24/7 world that's cycling from "lean-and-MEAN" downsizing to ever faster upgrading while periodically spinning scarily out of control the threshold for tesnion and frustration to erupt into damaging aggression is getting shorter.  Heightened vulnerability runs the gamut -- from individuals and teams to departments and divisions.  Managing individual and systemic anger and conflict or reducing the likelihood of a violent outburst from a rapidly changing work and family climate is critical for individual and organizational productivity and morale. 

Have no fear, "The Stress Doc" (TM), a psychotherapist, international speaker and training consultant (and former stress/violence prevention consultant for the US Postal Service) is here with a dynamic and humorous presentation and interactive, inspiring and fun-filled exercises.  Use psychological judo to "drop the rope" and defuse power struggles.  Learn to channel frustration, anger and conflict into safe sharing, cooperative and creative action and team building.  Seek the higher power of humor:  "May the Farce Be with You!"


Through dynamic and fun presentation and creative-interactive group exercises, you will:

1.  Discover "The Four Faces of Anger" -- how anger can have a positive as well as problematic effect on relationships and problem-solving

2.  Learn the process for transforming "Hostility" and "Rage" into "Assertion" and "Passion"

3.  Distinguish between blaming "You" and affirming "I" messages for disarming power struggles

4. Practice an IDEAL model for active listening and defusing dysfunctional conflict.

5.  And engage in the Doc's renowned stress reducing, team building and creatively expressive and FUN discussion/drawing exewrcise.

Seek the higher power of Stress Doc humor:  "May the Farce Be with You!"

"Don't miss your appointment with the Stress Doc!"

Mark Gorkin, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" ™, is an internationally recognized speaker and syndicated writer on stress, anger management, reorganizational change, team building and HUMOR! The Doc was recently featured on CBS TV's Newspath segment -- Workplace Violence -- and in Biography Magazine. He is America Online's "Online Psychohumorist" ™ (Keyword:  Stress Doc) leading a weekly chat group for AOL/Digital City -- http://www.digitalcity.com/washington/stressdr DC Stress Chat. Check out his USA Today Online "HotSite" - www.stressdoc.com Stress Doc homepage. For more info, email stressdoc@aol.com or call 202-232-8662 (in Wash, DC).