Tech will get you sex, and make you sad

Woman with phone
She wants you to press her buttons, apparently

Good news! If you're into tech, attractive people of the opposite (or same) gender will want to do rude things to you!

Bad news! If you talk to them on Facebook, you'll be miserable!

Let's start with the good news first.

In a survey for that in no way should be taken with an enormous dose of salt during a slow news week, it turns out that today's women want "technosexuals".

I thought that meant people who have sex with machines, but no: technosexuals are men who know where ladies' buttons are, and who know how to press them.

Apparently 59% of women "most admire guys who have the ability to improve their hardware", compared to just 49% who like men that know about cars (Is it just me, or does that 49% sound awfully high? Maybe EL James should have set 50 Shades of Grey in a Kwik-Fit. "Bring me some WD-40 and an adjustable spanner!").

According to Crucial, there are a lot of damsels in digital distress: as many as four out of five women are "experiencing the issue of a poorly performing computer or laptop", which means "many blokes are missing the opportunity to prove their tech skills [to] impress the apple of their eye." Those skills need to be current, of course, and your hardware must be up to date and in good working order.

Let's face it. No woman wants to be presented with a horrible old floppy.

Celebrate good times - but don't do it digitally

Don't celebrate just yet, though: even if your tech skills are bringing all the boys or girls to the yard, talking to people on social networks is going to make you miserable. According to social scientists at Berlin's Humboldt University and Darmstadt's Technical University, just logging into Facebook is enough to send you into a horrible spiral of despair.

As the LA Times interprets it, "Facebook may be making you hate life" because "scrolling through photos of other people's vacations, joyful family moments and awesome nights out may be a threat to your sense of personal happiness". The more you lurk, it seems, the more miserable you'll be.

That study only applied to German students, who for all we know may be unusually predisposed to gloominess, but researchers found similar results in the US: in a study by Utah Valley University found that the more time students spent on Facebook, the more they felt that other people's lives were much better than theirs - and the more near-strangers they connected to, the worse they felt.

Is there a lesson to be learnt here - one other than "tech firms will survey any old crap to get a headline"?

I think there is: while Crucial's survey is clearly a bit of slow-news-week fun, the social network studies both found evidence of something that should be, but that isn't always, obvious: the more time people spent socialising in real life rather than virtually, the happier they were.

Hardware can do many great things, but it's people that make us happy.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.