I think it’s time we take a look at a seriously pervasive problem. I am guilty, way more than I’d like to admit. Chances are that you are guilty, too. In fact, few there are that don’t find themselves trapped in this ever spreading “I want it fast, and I want it now” syndrome.
The great technology boom we are now living through has done something to the people on this planet. It has taken away our patience for the things that throughout history have never before mattered. It has caused us to expect and want more of just about everything. It has caused us to find any possible avenue not to have to work for things. It has caused us to curse and mumble at inconsequential and infinitesimal things.
A couple months ago, I had just about the worst day ever. The horrible events started as I sat stationed at a red light staring angrily at my smartphone. Come on already, was all I could think. I only had precious moments to download and read any important emails before the light snapped to green, forcing me away from my ever so important digital world. “You stupid piece of crap!” I mumbled as the woman behind me tapped her horn to let me know I was holding up traffic. I put the phone down which had downloaded a meager 21 of the 30 total messages in my inbox.
I continued driving and found myself groaning once again as traffic slowed to a snail’s pace. My once beautiful view of the gravel encrusted shoulder was heavily armored with orange construction barricades. When are they going to finish this ridiculous construction? I practically yelled in my head as I looked at a clock that didn’t seem to care much about me or my misfortune. Construction crews had been working on restructuring this particular highway for almost a year now. Supposedly when they finish, it will make everybody’s lives so much better. So far it had offered me nothing but five minutes of extra travel time whenever I was forced to go through it.
Traffic finally picked up again. As I neared my destination, I wriggled uncomfortably in my seat wondering how it was that I was still feeling fat when I had finally worked up the gumption to hit the gym the day before. I continued on, hoping that the clothes I had chosen for the day were sufficient enough to hide the result of my most recent lack of proper dietary choices.
All of that happened over the course of a ten-mile drive. It took me twenty minutes to reach my journey’s end, and when I got there, I had to grudgingly postpone parking while I waited for an old man to hobble his way across my empty parking spot. I don’t have all day, I thought. I’m positive he sensed my frustration because he doubled his pace to 0.02 miles per hour.
The entire rest of the day unraveled faster than a dollar store sweater. Everywhere I turned something or someone was waiting to slow me down and keep me from achieving my all so important objective. What that objective was, I don’t remember. I only remember that the entirety of the universe and all within it were taking longer and moving slower than they should have.
As I think about my own actions and thought processes, I can only shake my head and ask the question, why? Why am I so obtuse as to not get the miraculous speed with which everything around me moves? Why am I so quick to declare that I am owed certain levels of functionality and dependability? Why do I quickly forget that just months or years ago, the very technology I’m so angry at was just a whisper of an idea, nothing more. Why are we all like that?
We want it all, we want it all fast, and we want it all now.
Forget the fact that just twenty years ago if we wanted to send a correspondence to someone, we still had to go drop a physical letter into the mailbox. Forget the fact that just twenty years ago we had to (heaven forbid) pick-up a landline phone and time our conversations carefully so that they didn’t get too expensive. There was no Internet chatting, texting, or email. For the mainstream population the Internet didn’t even exist! Now, when my Internet service is interrupted, I am on the telephone within seconds declaring a state of emergency. I pace around my home or office, unsure of how to act or what to do until I see those little lights on my cable modem blinking again.