Instant coffee, instant Google search, instant sms, and Instagram. In today’s day and age, we have everything we need at our fingertips, which many scientists, including some of these people, claim is harmful to our overall psyche.
Think about it: when was the last time you waited for an internet page to reload without pressing the reload key a million times? And we’re all guilty of sending a text message and freaking out when the person doesn’t respond in seconds. (Actually, that sounds more like the doings of a crazy girlfriend, but whatevs). We as a collective group of technology users simply don’t have patience anymore.
Even when reading books, if the first page doesn’t immediately hook you into the story, you’re more likely to give up on it than you were 10 years ago. This should worry you. We are so connected to our devices and electronics that it’s nearly impossible to give them up, even for a little while. We feel naked and exposed without a cellphone in our pocket, and begin showing signs of depression if we haven’t check Facebook yet today(this is not an exaggeration.)
Nicholas G. Carr, author of The Shallows and The Big Switch, argues that we are warping time, and allowing it to warp us. He argues that because of todays quick access to information, our sense of time has changed. Seconds seem like minutes, and minutes seem like hours. As kids, we used to feel like this in school, but now our brains perceive this for real.
When we move from a fast computer to a slower one, those “annoying” extra seconds of processing time really become noticeable, whereas we never would have cared just a few years ago.
Mr. Carr doesn’t offer a suggestion on how to solve the problem and return to the days where we were just happy to have an internet connection, though this really seems like an issue of common sense. Read more books, take some time off your phone, and limit your Facebook exposure. Go for a walk, paint a picture, or take up a hobby. Because if seconds pass like minutes now, how will they feel a decade from today?