Computer anger: Northerners shout, Southerners lash out

When computers start going wrong, where you live in the country could affect how you react

When computers start playing up, people living in London are likely to resort to violence and hit their computer while people from Yorkshire will probably just shout at it, according to a survey published by security company Symantec.

According to Symantec, London's computer users are five times more likely to cause physical harm to their computers. In Yorkshire and Humberside, people are three times more likely to shout at their systems than anywhere else in the UK, but only 4 percent of them will ask for help from someone who knows about technology -- compared with a national average of 21 percent.

The survey also revealed that 86 percent of people are regularly stressed and annoyed because of problems with their computer. One in five men and one in three women are so annoyed by the usability of their PC that they say computers are not worth the hassle and do not make life easier, either at home or at work.

Although the answers given by men and women were fairly similar, when it came to the causes of computer stress, men found spam and email scams more annoying than women, who were more concerned about slow performance and system crashes. Also, men are more likely to shout or swear at their computers while women will probably press random keys until something happens, the survey said.

Just under 40 percent of respondents agreed that the time it took to repair a computer problem before being able to continue what they were trying to do was the greatest cause of frustration.

Scottish people are far less likely than their southern neighbours to tolerate computer problems. Nearly twice as many Scots (34 percent) as other Britons, when experiencing frustration with their PC, will simply get up and find something else to do. The average for the rest of the UK is 18 percent.