This falls into the category of “not sure whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing:” There is basically no limit to how many tears a person can produce.
A couple of days ago, when I broke down sobbing after a long string of computer issues made clear that the tech gods did not want me to finish the project I had planned for that day, I intuited this fact. A Google search confirmed it.
Actually, what I discovered is that humans produce three types of tears: Basil tears, which keep our eyes moist; reflex tears, which happen when, among other things, we cut an onion or sand blows in our eyes; and emotional tears, which is the kind inspired by my computer.
Research claims that emotional tears shed some kind of hormone, resulting in the crying person actually feeling better after crying.
I can definitely say that I did not notice that result the other day. In fact, I might still be crying if not for the fact that I finally (after an embarrassingly long crying jag) had some kind of brainstorm about what might be causing one of the issues, Googled how to fix it and actually was able to fix it — all by myself.
So, I would say that, in this case, the science isn’t quite on the mark. A person suffering from tech-related trauma can only feel better if the tech issue itself is resolved.
Of course, this conclusion is supported by a sample size of only one, but I stand by the “science” behind this anyway.
In some ways, I feel as though I should be grateful that tears are virtually unlimited. After all, how many things in life are unlimited?
In terms of one’s body, limits abound. Blood is certainly not unlimited. Neither is skin, bone, or muscle. Ditto for body parts, which often come only in pairs: Legs, arms, ears, eyes. And our physical abilities are not unlimited, either, and decline with age.
Other things in life, too, are limited: Time, money, patience, the goodwill that others will feel toward you in the face of your continuous bad behavior, your ability to eat whatever you want without getting fat, and life itself.
But tears? Apparently, we don’t have to worry about running out of those anytime soon.
Considering that tech keeps advancing and my ability to keep up with that tech seems to be decreasing exponentially, there is something good to be said about this. After all, it is clear that my future need for tears will only increase — and who wants to run out of anything? The thought of a supply shortage makes me … well, want to cry.
On the other hand, if my tears were limited, perhaps I would be forced to have a healthier response to the inevitable tech snafus.
What might a healthier response look like? Maybe spending less time feeling sorry for myself and wasting tissues and more time trying to solve the problem earlier.
Maybe preventing problems from occurring by taking computer classes to learn how to handle more tech troubles. Maybe finding hobbies that don’t entail computer work.
I know that I’m not the only adult who has this completely juvenile reaction to tech problems. In fact, though, as kids are generally more skilled with computers than adults, it might be more apt to say that emotional tears are a mature reaction to tech frustrations.
That might be a stretch — but there are no limits to the way that I can spin this.
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