As for the other gadgets you've found yourself rebooting when things go south -- your wireless router, gaming console, Apple TV, etc. -- they all run software that can be corrupted by overuse or random interference, so a restart is like shaking a messy Etch A Sketch clean.
You've also probably heard you're supposed to unplug and wait a few minutes before booting back up. There's a good reason for that, too. Basically, this ensures the machine is completely off, since even after you've flipped the switch power may still be circulating from the capacitor (the component that regulates the flow of power from the outlet). Things don't reset until it's depleted completely.
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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist and has spent more time on the phone with Comcast discussing router reboots than he cares to admit.