Load rage is the road rage of the internet & teens are not coping with it

A new study has cited slow download speeds as one of the biggest sources of frustration among young people today

07 August 2019 - 00:00
Waiting too long for content to download is one of the biggest sources of frustration for millennial teenagers.
Waiting too long for content to download is one of the biggest sources of frustration for millennial teenagers.
Image: 123RF/Antonio Guillem

We've all experienced road rage but in the age of ride-hailing services and the continuous search for online approval, millennial teens are experiencing something else.

"Load rage" as it's been dubbed is the anger that online users experience as a result of waiting too long for content to download.

According recent research in the UK it takes less than a minute for young people to lose their proverbial s**t if downloading content is taking too long for their short attention spans.

The research, conducted by Chinese company OnePlus, has shown that young phone users are five times more likely to throw their toys as a result of slow download speeds than older people.

Research shows young phone users are five times more likely to throw their toys as a result of slow download speeds than older people

"Load rage" is now one of the biggest sources of frustration among young people in our interconnected world β€” so much for bullying, divorce, acne, lack of mathematical ability or any of those oh-so-old-school problems that may have topped the previous generation's list of things that are the pits about being a teenager.

According to the survey, two-fifths of young people said that they experienced symptoms including fatigue, insomnia and anxiety as a result of the heavy digital stresses of their lives β€” basically the same effects reported by middle-aged workers in high-pressure environments that we know as good old-fashioned burnout.

That said, the kids are still not all beyond help as it's also being shown that they realise that their excessive phone use is a significant contributor to these symptoms.

Almost half of all the people surveyed between the ages of 16-24 want to reduce their screen time β€” with experts previously warning that over two hours of screen time a day can impact the development of children's brains and affect their memory, language skills and attention spans.

In the UK, MPs recently drew up a white paper calling for greater responsibility on the part of tech companies to protect users from the harmful effects of their products. In the US, a bill has been proposed to force companies to introduce measures to protect consumers from the dangers of social media addiction such as continuous scrolling and video autoplay on websites.

Whether these measures will be enough to stop your teenager from throwing her phone in the pool after waiting longer than a minute for the latest viral video to download remains to be seen. What probably won't help, however, is reminding her that in the old days it took five minutes for a picture of the Spice Girls to download.


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