Moodscope's blog



Why I talk to machines. Tuesday March 15, 2016

When I was a student teacher, there were two photocopiers name B1 and B2 after Bananas in Pyjamas. Well everyone favoured B1 and there was always a huge queue because B2 always caused problems. One day I was in a hurry so cautiously approached B2. I whispered (because even teachers would think that was a bit silly) to him that I had every confidence he would photocopy my papers without jamming especially when I was doing double sided, and I felt he was misunderstood. B2 rose to the occasion, my task was completed, and I never had any problems with B2 again.

I talk to my computer but I have actually shouted at it, so my computer is not always that helpful.

I have tried being patient and understanding but sometimes when I have just lost a whole email or page I tend to get a bit upset!

I have had a difficult time with printers over the years. They tend to be in my experience rather an arrogant and selfish lot. I have tried to be calm and tolerant but they insist on jamming paper or not printing what I wanted on one page preferring to spread a few sentences onto a new page!

The machine I have had the most trouble with is the laminator, no matter how hard I try to be careful one piece is always scrunched up. I have tried to bargain with laminators, beg them, bribe them, promise them anything, but to no avail. People say, trying to be helpful, that I have had the settings, too hot, too slow, that I didn't have the laminating sheets even enough and many other pieces of advice.

The laminator knows and I know that laminators want humans to be scared of them and it works so well.

There will be some people reading this blog thinking "and I thought I had problems!," while others will be relieved that there is another person who talks to machines.

Sometimes it is far easier to believe that it is the machine playing up than admitting it could be my impatience or ignorance.

I have found it is more useful to try to reason with a machine than get frustrated and angry.

Have you talked to any machines and was it a calming or stressful experience?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Permalink  |  Blog Home


Rionka Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 5:40am

This is awesome! I talk to computers and printers pretty often. Also i tend to talk with plants. Especially these in my kitchen. :)

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 7:55am

Thanks Rionka, I think there has been research about talking to plants. I can kill artificial plants! Maybe I should have talked to plants.

Anonymous Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:07am

Prince Charles, our very own Prince Charles famously talks to his plants at Highgrove and his gardens are open to the public. I was going to say this, then thoight plants are living and machines are inanimate (or are until they go wrong) xx

danielle Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 11:29am

I kill plants too leah- have tried everything and cannot keep them alive! even the most hardy ones x

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:42pm

Danielle, I bet you don't kill artificial plants like I do!!

Paul Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 5:48am

I sometimes speak to my dishwasher last night I said, what time will my dinner be ready. ????

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 7:56am

Paul, I think you are on to something- a dishwasher that can cook and clean! Sounds like a wonderful idea.

Norman Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 9:55am

"Dishwasher who can cook and clean!" isn't that spelled w-o-m-a-n ;-)

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 10:54am

Norman, you are a very b-r-a-v-e m-a-n.

Norman Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 12:54pm

My friend was a successful woman in a very male profession. She used to take the mick out of her male colleagues remarks. She once said: "I'll have to get one of these wife things, they sound really useful, where can I buy one?" They were not amused!

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:45pm

Norman, There was a very well known article written by Judy Brady in 1972- Why I need a wife.

the room above the garage Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 6:07am

Love it Leah!! Love ratg xx.

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 7:56am

Thanks tratg, Hope it made you smile! xx

Anonymous Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:03am

Hi Leah. I am very impatient with machines when they don't work properly; I expect them to work perfectly ALL THE TIME! It's a bit like when I forget my house keys and arrive at the front door dying to get inside. I blame everything and everyone else for them not being where they should be instead of just accepting that I simply forgot them. Funnily enough, I just lost this comment to the ether so my computer must be cleverer than I think and took offence at my comments and your blog. However one day I would love to be able to talk to a robot who would carry out all my commands just as I expect them too. Bring on the Robots I say. Julxx

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:53am

Jul you made me laugh. I too feel computers have a secret agenda! Not sure about Robots!!

Zareen Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:09am

Hi Leah, your blog really resonated for me & was very encouraging. I usually find that I am not good with devices & make a mess of photocopiers. My son helps me to update my computer & devices. He is a fix-it-up-chappie. Hope that you have a good week.

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:54am

Thanks Zareen, good to know I am not alone.You are lucky your son helps you.

Another Sally Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:10am

Hi Leah, I talk to my car, but I suspect that since a lot of people give their cars names, they also talk to their cars, so I'm not alone. I try to avoid printers and the like. I do believe that talking to machines increases our confidence in them though.
Another Sally

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 9:04pm

Another Sally, I wrote a reply hours ago, but somehow it didnt appear, yet one of my replies appeared twice!! I agree talking to machine increases confidence- good point. Than ks for replying.

Alex Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:38am

Does yelling at my tv to "Fuck off!" when one of the many annoying adverts comes on count?


Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:55am

Alex, maybe that is talking at not with- but it made me chuckle! Thanks

Alex Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 10:00am

Leah Good, Im glad :) Im thinking we share the same faith, given that you write the same as I do? ( G-d) Alex

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 10:40am

Alex, Shalom, we do share the same faith.

Angela Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:53am

I talk to my laptop and ask it nicely to behave. I also talk to God; my 3 cats and myself! There's no hope for me Lol :)

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:57am

Angela, I hope your laptop behaves for you. I think many people talk to G-d and their pets.

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:57am

Angela, I hope your laptop behaves for you. I think many people talk to G-d and their pets.

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:58am

Just having a stern word to the reply button for printing my reply twice!! Was not my fault of course.

Hopeful One Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 9:18am

Hi Leah- I often talk to my lawn mover, my chainsaw and my hedge trimmer when they behave themselves as I think they are more intelligent than computers printers and he like.. You know what they about computers ?' Humans make errors but to really screw thing up one needs a computer .

Here's your laugh hoping you are not too religious and take offence in which case my apologies.

A mom and dad were worried about their son not wanting to learn maths at the school he was in, so they decided to send him to a Catholic school. After the first day of school, their son comes racing into the house, goes straight to his room and slams the door shut. Mom and dad are a little worried about this and go to his room to see if he is okay. They find him sitting at his desk doing his homework. The boy keeps doing that for the rest of the year. At the end of the year the son brings home his report card and gives it to mom and dad.They see under math he has an A+. Mom and dad are very happy and ask the son, "What changed your mind about learning maths?" The son looked at mom and dad and said, "Well, on the first day when I walked into the classroom, I saw a guy nailed to the plus sign at the back of the room behind the teacher's desk and I knew she meant business."

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 9:48am

Hopeful One, Our hedgetrimmer can be very stubborn despite encouragement. Thanks for your reply.

g Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 10:23pm

Hopeful One - i love all your jokes and ROTFL each time i read one and i am catholic ( with a sense of humour )

Skyblue Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 9:37am

I talk in an encouraging tone to all my electrical things when I feel they might be on the verge of breaking down (I think we must pick up subtle changes in their sound or operations). The computer gets yelled at. And by the you have water/plumbing problems when emotions in the house are too high? There is definitely a correlation in this house. Thanks, Leah. xx

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 9:49am

Skyblue, Thanks for your comment. I am going to think about water problems and emotions.

Salt Water Mum Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 10:22am

Phew Leah - it's not just me!!!

Yes, hands up, I talk to my laptop A LOT (and give it grief sometimes ) and, strangely, the toaster.
And I often talk to my car, especially when parking !!!

Skyblue, one week ago, I heard a cry from my son 'Muuuuum, the toilet is looking weird... mum it's full to the top with blue water...' !! Oh yes, then followed three days of trying to get the landlord to help (no joy), trying to get a plumber (in hours that suits between school, work and activities aaahhhh! ) and finally.... yes plumber comes and does whatever it is that was needed (I don't think I even asked!!) and phew... all working again. Were emotions running high in this house as you suggest Skyblue? Hmmmmm .... guilty as charged (especially the mother (me) and the female pre-teen) !!

And most of all, I talk to our goldfish ! She is a great listener :-)))


Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 10:41am

SWM, thanks for your reply. Now I have never spoken to my toaster, well I did swear at it a few times when it kept burning toast.

Skyblue Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 10:48am

SWM I swear there's something to it. The stories I could tell, like the kitchen sink pipes blowing in the presence of house guests (was I stressed?!) Another reason to keep our emotions under control. Sorry it took so long to get your loo fixed:( xx

Holly Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 10:29am

I used to talk to my computer. I had it from the age of 12 to 2 years ago actually. I got upset when I had to get a new one. The truth is, I learnt a lot from my computer. Suddenly, with my own computer and a reliable internet connection I discovered so much about myself, learning for the first time the abuse that I went through and also learning about my dad's Alzheimers. I used to grow up with the myths and stigma of depression and mental health- that kids couldn't have it, that you can just 'get over it' etc. but with my own computer, I changed all that. In a way, I went on my journey of self-discovery with my computer. We had a family computer too, but it wasn't the same. So yeah, I used to talk to it, cry in front of it and laugh in front of it too :p

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 10:46am

Holly, What a moving and original post. Thanks so much. It is true we do learn a lot from computers and other machines and they watch us grow. I had a brother portable typewriter that I bought when I started university bake in the kate 1970s. I still had it in the late 1990s when I returned to study and eventually had to get a computer when tutors complained about how messy my typing was. I kep the typewrite till a few years ago when it fell apart. My brother typewriter helped me type essays in the early morning while I was depressed, when I was high. Thanks for making me think.

danielle Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 11:32am

Love it Leah!! I don't talk to machines as such, I talk to my cat and horse. But I do have an odd thing with shopping trolleys. When i was small and went to the supermarket with mum it was my job to return the trolley while she packed the car. I was convinced in my little imagination that they were alive and if I left them abandoned on the pavement like many do they would be sad as not with their friends. I had to return them to the trolley bank to be reunited. Despite being 26 and knowing that trolleys are inanimate objects I still have to return them to their friends even now!! xx

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:47pm

Danielle, That is so sweet. I too worry about trolleys as I feel they are happier in groups. Thanks for your reply.

Lexi Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 1:03pm

Thanks for the laugh Leah! I have a printer on my desk that I swear knows when I am a rush because that is when it chooses to jam up. I think I may have started meditating because of my printer. It was either that or throw it across the room.

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:48pm

Lexi, I am glad you chose the to meditate but we have all thought of the alternative. It is interesting how much power we give to inanimate objects.

Peter Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 1:04pm

The Japanese believe that machines have souls, as do many New-Agers. I used to work for BBC Radio, and in one department I gave names to all teh tape recorders. I'm not sure if they worked better for me, but I felt better about them...

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:49pm

Peter, It is interesting how we feel better if we can give names to objects. I think it is better than swearing at them.

Mary Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 1:43pm

Our cars are full members of the family. The Volvo is Sylvester and the Mini is Adele Vivienne. They get talked to and patted. If we are about to overtake something and they really need a push of speed they get encouragement: "Come on - you can do it!" and a "well done." afterwards. I have plans for my next but one hero who is a machine/droid. Of course people will talk to him and they won't know (most of them) that he's not human.

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:51pm

Mary, I think most people talk and name cars or will admit to that. I know humans who some people think are machines.

Frankie Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 3:12pm

Oh I am so glad it isn't just me! I think that by talking politely to machines, I remain calm and therefore they are far more likely to work - (and I am far more likely to get them to work!) And Skyblue - I have found that during periods of great sadness in the days following the death of a loved one, things did break down (boiler, microwave, cooker). I am now much gentler around machines, and no longer take them for granted (well I try anyway!). Thanks Leah. Frankie

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:53pm

Frankie, Thanks for your insightful post. You , Skyblue and SWM have given me a lot to think about between emotions and machines breaking down. It is true it seems to work to remain clam with machines but it can be difficult at times of stress.

Dolphin Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 3:34pm

When I first started working, I set a photocopier alight! After that I was pretty much afraid of them, but have a better relationship with those nice little desktop things that seem more friendly. I have also found that when one electronic being is messing you around, others catch a similar virus, usually when you are frantic trying to keep a deadline. You gotta keep your cool otherwise those machines smell your fear!! Strength to you Leah and to all of us humans ... xx

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:55pm

Dolphin, I am glad your relationships with photocopiers have improved. You are right, stay calm and keep smiling at machines. Thanks

The Gardener Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 5:51pm

Could someone send rude messages to my machine - it clams up everytime I try to write a post - can't see what it's got against moodscope, you've never done it any harm - unless someone fed up with my ramblings has put a hex on it. I only swear at or kick machines, but they talk to me

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:56pm

Gardener, I will tell your computer to be kind to you as we enjoy your posts, but you must promise not to swear or kick it!

Melanie Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 5:51pm

I love this Leah. Thank you!! I definitely think that treating my laptop as my friend (and also my car) thanking them for their helpfulness and loving them pays great dividends!

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 8:57pm

Melanie, I think you have it right- be kind to them, praise when they are going well and be patient when they have a bad day! Thank.

The Gardener Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 5:54pm

Bulletin on my situation (Leah asked, I think) Mr G went to respite as usual this morning. When I did not pick him up instant phone call via nurse - he was calm - expected screaming - said I'd planned it all behind his back. |Yes. Then I said he would not have left the house if he knew he was going to 'stay in'. Then what? Can't take him by main force. Did feel awful though, and dreading reaction. Odd, being able to do what one likes. Good computer, nice computer, written more than four lines.

Leah Tue, Mar 15th 2016 @ 9:01pm

Gardener, We are always interested in your updates, stories,anecdotes, wisdom- keep them coming. Please make the most of doing what you like. MR G is being well cared for, and now you need to care for yourself. Let us know what activities you decided to do. Hope you get lots of sleep and relaxation. Take care. Dear computer continue to allow TG to write on moodscope- thanks .

You must login to leave a comment.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2018. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.