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Tech Overload, Marketing & the Age of Annoyance

Like it or not, we live in the age of annoyance. Technology, electronic communications, gadgets, airline travel—as it all gets “easier,” it also seems to get exponentially more annoying. Annoyance is described as an unpleasant mental state that can lead to emotions such as frustration and anger. Sound familiar? When was the last time you yelled at your “stupid computer,” got frustrated that your smartphone could not find a signal or de-friended someone over one too many annoying Facebook posts? As marketers, we have the difficult challenge of trying to engage buyers who are constantly distracted with status updates, tweets, daily deals, IMs, text messages, emails, etc. Having spent two years researching these issues for his book The Age of Annoyance (, Gavin will highlight some of the root causes of technological annoyances and offer ways that marketers can effectively use email and social media without frustrating the end user.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. As marketers, how can we tell if we are engaging our customers or just annoying them?
  2. What are the true causes of annoyances?
  3. Why do we love technology, despite the fact that it annoys us so easily?
  4. Do some people get more annoyed with technology than others?
  5. How do I market on social media sites without being overly annoying?



Gavin Jocius, Creative Technologist ,

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