The Net Nerd’s Profiles

Your cuticles are bleeding, donuts fear you, and your dog has been spending the better part of the week whimpering under the couch. You need Stress Inc.

It’s that time of year again. Presents, food, nasty relatives, crowded malls and final exams. In other words, stress. Stress Inc. is the be all end all of stress related information. Stress Inc. is presented a little different from other websites, though. It takes the perspective of how stress affects the market place and the culture of stress. The information presented is not necessarily how to cope with stress.

The Stress Inc. website was developed by Columbia University’s journalism department. Each section is an article devoted to a cultural aspect of stress. As well, there are different writers for each section. I’ll give an overview of each one.

“Publishing”- Talks about the way the publishing world has impacted knowledge about stress. For example the self help book market generates an estimated $1 billion in sales annually. This section discusses different publishers that corner the self-help market and the history of the self help book. Hit the “links” button at the end of the article to see the sites of various publishers.

“Consulting”- Talks about different companies that offer stress consulting to harried executives. Again there are more links – this time to three consulting groups including Steve Wilson, “Joyologist.” Somebody call Oprah, stat!

“Pharmaceuticals”- Drugs, drugs, drugs and the legal kind! Links to pharmaceutical companies and other web based information.

“Ergonomics”- Put up your hand if you don’t know what this word means. Ok looks like I’m the only one. Talks about stress on the body, more specifically Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Again, the bottom dollar here is that RSI costs about $12 million in medical costs and lost wages in North America. Learn about symptoms and preventive measures. At the end are more links about ergonomics.

“Fitness”- Take a deep breath, now “Ommmm.” Yoga, yoga and more yoga. If you want more info on our favorite Eastern-based exercise I suggest

“Fringe”- Some of the wonderful and weird measures people take to de-stress their lives. All about alternative medicines and therapies. My favorite link in this section: It does just what it says.

“Toys”- The funny things people buy to de-stress. Neat gadgets but give me bubble wrap anytime.

“Timeline”- A decade by decade account of the evolution of stress culture and industry. Interesting but I still haven’t figured out why the release date of “Annie Hall” is on there.

Neat Stuff: “Tension Breakers” include little activities such as “Stress out Bob.” Bob is a little computer guy you can do bad stuff to (hee hee).

Not so Neat Stuff: Lots of information on here, but reeks of CLASS PROJECT. Albeit a class project done in a very professional, well thought-out manner. I wish I would’ve had this idea first!

Rating: ****/5 I first went to this website expecting hints and tips on how to cope with stress. Fortunately, I didn’t see the little words at the top of the home page “The Commerce of Coping” or else I wouldn’t have gone to this site. Well laid out, interesting information, and pleasing to the eye. Gives us a perspective on how far society will go and how much dough we will spend on trying to find a quick fix.

You read the last review expecting some help with your stressed out life and information on how to stop scaring animals and small children. Now you can go to Mind Tools [TM]:

If you want practical advice on how to deal with the stress and goings on in your life you must go to Mind Tools. Here you will find everything you need to get your life in order. No, it’s not the queen of anal retention, Martha Stewart, but real things to apply to your everyday life. Even the categories made me happier just reading them. “Techniques to help you think excellently”, “Skills for high performance living”, and “Practical Psychology”.

“Techniques:” has several subcategories such as “Improving your memory” and “Information skills”. Each of these categories has several tools listed under them. These tools are practical applications to use when solving problems. I can’t tell you if they will “help you think excellently” since I haven’t been thinking much lately, but try them out and let me know.

“Skills:” has several subcategories as well. “Mastering Stress”, “Planning Skills”, and “Communication Skills” are all useful and orderly ways to handle life’s little road bumps. Again, tons of advice under each subcategory. “High performance living,” I love my life being compared to vehicles.

“Practical Psychology” has but two subcategories “Sports Psychology” and “Psychometric tests”. Take the IQ test and be humbled or happy and prepare to pay a couple bucks.

Neat Stuff: Download such programs such as “Life Plan v1.22” or download the entire site. “Links” has a psychology tutorial and “mind man”, a mind map generator software.

Not so Neat Stuff: Some of the links are thinly veiled ads. I got the hint when credit card information was required.

Rating: ***.5/5 A five for the information and the organization. But I had to take points off for some of the links (basically the “for only $9.95” type of ads). Mind Tools has some really wonderful tools and information that anyone can use. This site has great stuff to use in any aspect of your life, especially if you are headed toward the professional procrastinator route!

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