Even as a home user, it is sometimes necessary to carry out advanced computer tasks to keep the system running smoothly. However, it is important not to overindulge system administration to compensate for limited skills. Only administer a system to the extent that it is necessary, unless you are determined to learn and face potential negative consequences of misconfiguration. In the worse case scenario, you may need to reinstall your operating system and programs.
Overindulging System Administration occurs when a user, typically because of novice system administration skills, excessively and unnecessarily performs administrative tasks on a computer to correct perceived problems, or to reduce perceived system degradation. It occurs when such a user "looks for non-existent" problems, usually by misinterpreting certain behaviour of computer programs or benchmark results as proof that the computer is slow or not performing as well as it should be. The excessive focus on needing the computer to run at its peak may actually result in the user inadvertently creating problems by trying to fix them. As such, the self-fulfilling prophecy can soon become validation, proving to the user that the system was, in fact, failing.
Signs of Excessive System Administration
Some signs of excessive system administration may include:
- Running benchmark software just to make sure the computer is as fast as it should/can be.
- Running disk fragmentator on a daily basis to ensure the system is not too slow
- Running registry cleaners at the first sign of a slow performing application
- Installing and running other pointless tools on the system
- Messing with or changing registry entries based on dubious Internet articles that swore that it would improve system performance
- Uninstalling software such as: Windows Media Player; Internet Explorer or Edge to "save space" and/or "improve memory", even though, the computer easily has enough resources.
In Jungian typology, excessive system administration is generally an insecurity in one's technical and problem solving ability. Feeling types submerge thinking preferences in the subconscious part of the psyche. From time to time, these thoughts can surface as insecurities or compulsions to prove to oneself that they are, in fact, intelligent and capable. This, in turn, leads to a need to show off perceived technical prowess or ability, even if just to one's self. Similarly, the need to look for patterns can also surface as insecurities. Misinterpreting events on the computers as signs of computer failure or slowness involves looking for patterns. Often, one wants validation that their intuitions were correct. In other cases, anxiety, in the form of not being good enough to administer the computer can also trigger a compulsive need to quickly get rid of perceived imperfections, that if were they exposed to others, would validate their own belief, that they are incompetent.
These psychological triggers can extend beyond mere computer problems. Anxiety at work, for example, could trigger anxious thoughts about not being good enough to keep their computer working smoothly, which may cause them to overcompensate by looking for non-existent computer problems. The difference between novices and experts is that experts can more accurately regulate their feelings by performing problem solving thinking to determine if administration is truly necessary and refrain from needless problem solving and pointless fixing.