Frustrated that I haven’t gotten to the point yet? Here it is: Technology is making us more impatient.
Once upon a time, optimistic futurists imagined a world in which technology would make life so efficient that our biggest worry would be what to do with all our free time.
Yeah, well, predicting the future has never been an exact science. Turns out that an unforeseen consequence of our ever-faster, evermore potent technology is that it’s making us restless.
The website studyfinds.org summarized the results of a new British survey that asked respondents how long they would wait for something before becoming impatient. And in most cases, the answer was … not very long.
Respondents grew frustrated over web pages not loading in16 seconds. (Which, frankly, seems like a really unreasonable amount of time to me; my threshold might be three or four seconds on that one.) Waiting for that Netflix series to stream for more than 22 seconds? (“Grrr. I need to watch Stranger Things Season 3 right now!”) Stoplights? Wait more than 25 seconds and our blood pressure spikes. (I recently counted the seconds at a light near our church: 65 agonizingly long clicks of the clock. Don’t they know we have places to be?!)
Taking things more old school, we start to get frustrated after 20 seconds of waiting for ink to dry on a letter (though one wonders how many folks are even putting pen to paper at all these days). And eating out? A delay of more than 14 minutes at a sit-down restaurant has disgruntled patrons logging into Yelp to tap out a poor rating.
Regarding technology’s relationship to patience, Study Finds contributor John Anderer writes:
Patience is a virtue, but it’s becoming an exceedingly rare quality in modern society. According to a new survey of 2,000 British adults, all of the luxuries of modern life have made most people incredibly impatient — across pretty much every aspect of their lives. Three quarters of those surveyed said they believe the dominance of digital technology, such as smartphones and on-demand TVs, are to blame for this ever growing lack of patience.
Can you relate? I know that I certainly can.
But after 400 or so words here, you’re probably ready to move on to the next tantalizing online factoid. If the page will load fast enough, that is.