Welcome to the second installment of October Oddities, where we explore the offbeat and mysterious side of tech, each Friday of the month. This time out, we take on tech superstitions—in honor of Friday the 13th!
Humans can’t help it, we’re a superstitious bunch. From fear of black cats crossing our path, being afraid of Friday the 13th, to picking up pennies for luck, we seem to adhere to common superstitions that have followed us since our childhoods. A recent Gallup poll concludes that more than half of Americans admit to being a little superstitious.
Superstitions can play a prominent role in our lives—wearing a lucky shirt for example, on a day you think you need it. Or negative—avoiding Friday the 13th travel plans because you fear bad luck, or even engaging in obsessive behaviors because you think it will prevent something bad from happening.
But what about superstitions in the digital age? We’ve gathered some of the most common superstitions around our phones and computers.
You know the type—they forever ignore the ever-present pop up on their laptop asking when they’d like to install the new updates and they’ll always click “Remind me tomorrow.” Those who believe in this superstition never update for fear of their phone or computer crashing and never restarting.
You can nix this superstition. Updating devices from the credible sources ensures they’re running smoothly with the most up-to-date software, and fixes crucial vulnerabilities. But it’s still important to be careful—do some research, read reviews and even ask friends about their experiences.
Waiting for an important text
The saying goes “A watched pot never boils.” Same goes for your phone. If waiting for an important text or phone call, sitting with your phone face up and next to you almost always guarantees that text will never come through.
Simply pretend like you have better things to do and ignore your phone, and the person you’re waiting to hear from will (probably) contact you when you least expect it.
You’re either the kind of person who has 40,000 unreal emails or you keep your inbox at zero. If you’re the kind of person has no unread emails, seeing any kind of notification on an app gives you a little jolt of anxiety and you need to clear it or else. Or else what? Well, we don’t want to find out.
Clear browsing history when searching for flights
When booking your dream vacation, you’ve always been told to clear your browsing history and cookies to get better flight deals, right?
Airfare expert Rick Seaney shared with USA Today that it’s not a solid deal you can rely on. Flight prices fluctuation day by day, depending on the platform. It’s not your cookies, after all.
Your computer can hear you
How many times have you tried talking to your computer to get it to do what you needed? Has it worked? Probably not. Realistically you know this, but your computer can’t hear you. But we’re sure it hasn’t stopped you from talking to it and trying to reason with it.
Don’t upgrade your phone
You’ve had your phone awhile, and you feel like as soon as you’re ready to upgrade to the newest model an even newer and better model will come out. You can do your research and read about the tech scene and try to predict when the next big thing is about to be unveiled, but the phone companies still might surprise you. Just chalk it up to bad timing. It probably would’ve happened anyway, regardless of you upgrading.
Though it is the time of year for scares and tricks and treats, superstitions don’t have to all be spooky. In other cultures, some of the things that make us uneasy can even be seen as a sign of good luck (black cats, for example). If anything, superstitions make for great conversation starters, which can often lead to deeper bonding with those around us, which is never a bad thing.
This article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical or legal advice, or to indicate the availability or suitability of any product or service for your unique circumstances.
Capital One does not provide, endorse, or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The third parties listed are solely responsible for their products and services, and all trademarks listed are the property of their respective owners.