I turned on my laptop to read a few blogs before going to bed, as I often do. I was met by a dark grey screen and a spinning circle. Thinking something was wrong, as we had some flickering lights and power due to very high winds yesterday, I restarted it. After that, my screen let me know that updates were being performed and I should not turn off my computer. Annoyed, I decided I had better do something productive while I waited, so I deleted some photos from my phone.
I couldn't just wait the seven minutes of so that it took to complete the updates. There is something wrong with our society. We want it now. I think I probably have more patience than the younger generation, as I come from the world of dropping off your film and waiting a week until your photographs were ready. I come from the world of having a party line and if Mrs. Baer down the road was using her phone, you had to wait to make your phone call until she was done. I come from the world of waiting until Thursday night to watch the next episode of Hill Street Blues. I come from the world of writing a letter by hand to a penpal in Tennessee, mailing it away, and waiting weeks until a reciprocating letter arrived back.
But now I am in the world of immediacy.
Broken windshield? It will get fixed that day, sometimes even in your driveway. Hungry? Hop in your car and go through the drive-through, getting your meal within moments. Need to know a fact? Grab your phone and type in an enquiry. You'll have the answer in seconds, if you type fast enough.
I am a very poor consumer. Stores don't make a ton of money from my shopping habits, but I do know quite a few people who order from companies such as Amazon, and use their Prime membership to get anything from tea to underwear right to their door by the next day.
Heaven forbid we wait. I have waited eight seasons for that bloody treasure to be found on Oak Island. I have waited for my teeth to slowly straighten over the course of more than a year with my Invisaligns. I waited sixteen years until we put in new kitchen cupboards and appliances. I am quite a patient person, usually.
However, faster is presented as better. Lose weight quicker on this programme. Increase your internet speed with this company. Make your plants grow and produce vegetables more quickly with this miracle fertilizer.
I meet many, many Amish people on the road. They will get to where they want to go only as fast as their horse is able to pull them. I wonder if they have any need to speed up in their lives?
There are those people who cannot wait at a traffic light, drumming the steering wheel with their fingers, creeping ahead inch by inch anticipating that green light so they can speed on and get to their destination a few minutes faster.
My professional world has been governed by deadlines, due dates, and bells. I'm sure there are others whose working lives are far more hectic and pace driven. What are we doing to ourselves?
Are you able to slow down? Do you feel frenzied at times (or did you, at some stages in your lives)? Have you been able to release yourself from the fast pace of technology, or do you thrive on it? I'm curious.