Technology — A Root Cause for Impatience?




We live in a very efficient world. Over a span of just a century, the progress that technology has made is truly impressive.  Communications can happen in span of microseconds, you can have almost everything delivered at your doorstep, no matter what part of the world the thing has been manufactured in. Within hours you could be sitting in other part of the world, all the while making an efficient use of the “travel time”.

We are so used to this way of living, that we now  expect everything at a lightning fast pace. And that makes me wonder- has technology made us impatient beings? Or have we always been impatient and technology has just aggravated this quality?

Checking cellphones every few minutes has become so instinctive to us.  A moment free? Well, let’s check cellphones. Even though there have been no notifications, there is a lingering feeling that something must surely have been missed.  Some more time to kill? What about going through Facebook posts or tweets or mails? Some of these things are going to affect our lives in no possible way, yet it is preferred to spend time this way rather than looking around or talking to people sitting next to us.

I would still categorize it as acceptable. Fiddling with smartphones or equivalent stuff has become a habit now, and annoyingly, it has started to creep up during conversation. As soon as a person loses interest in the conversation/monologue, it is imperative to check cellphones. Surely, we can better utilize our time by playing some game on our cellphone while listening to the person (who is not making sense anyway!)

What with the great progress of movies, reading has taken a relative backseat.  Yes, the movie/season is going to tell the whole story with added effects so why bother reading a million words? It is easier and much more interesting to play cricket or golf on computer that it makes absolutely no sense to play games in real time.

And these are only some examples of our newly developed impatient nature. The major problem is impatience has slowly seeped into every part of us. We have also become impatient to get results. We put in a bit of work into something, and automatically expect it to show results. Commitment and discipline have slowly started to fade into the background, because now we have shorter and more efficient versions of everything. Delayed services, or a bit of slip in time, can make us frustrated in a jiffy. Losing calm over long queues and traffic jams has become second nature to us.

I am not anti-technology. As a student of science, I can appreciate what it took for humans to go from plow-wielding creatures sweating in fields to the ones who now manage all the work sitting in front of the laptops in glass offices. It has definitely made world a better place to live in. It has opened up a lot more avenues. The point I am trying to make is that patience is important. It was patience and years of research and development that brought us to this stage of advancement.

There are some situations where we need to operate everything with utmost efficiency, and usually such situations are in our control. In such situation, it is the go-getter attitude which would be victorious. Then there are situations we cannot control. Situations that will demand patience, situations that will be a test of patience.  And it is here where we need to get over the seemingly inherent impatience of ours. This way, we will save a lot of energy that would be otherwise be burnt in useless frustration, and will also start admiring those little things in life.

Patience is a virtue. And we will do good to remember it.