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Instant services have made us expect more

on Tuesday, 18 July 2017. Posted in Columns, Opinions

By: Brenda Harrison

Our lives have become so fast-paced – even here in the South – that we are becoming more and more impatient when things don’t happen quickly.

Watch people at stoplights.

If someone doesn’t step on the gas as soon as the light changes, they will be honked at and possibly get a few finger signals. Same thing if a motorist, God forbid, follows the speed limit on the highway or interstate.

It is no fun for anyone stuck in traffic, but some drivers are so impatient they will take crazy chances to break ahead in the lanes that are moving at a snail pace.

We get irritated when we are forced to wait in line, whether it is the grocery store, Walmart, or a ticket booth. We gladly pay for passes to avoid lines at DisneyWorld and other amusement parks.

We hate being on time for a doctor’s appointment and having to wait, sometimes hours, before seeing him or her. Most of us have come to accept that, but occasionally someone gets angry enough to leave.

Technology is partly to blame, I think. We have microwaves that speed up our cooking time, machines to dry our clothes and remotes to change our TV channels, turn out our lights and many other services. Our smart phones not only allow us call almost anywhere in the world, but get information on everything, all at our finger tips. These phones, along with electronic tablets and computers give us worldwide news at an instant.

Yet, computers cause me the most frustration when they are not quick enough. I become impatient, even when I have to wait 10 to 30 seconds for the information to download.

It is upsetting to watching that tiny little black and white soccer ball, or the colorful wheel spinning for what seems like forever while waiting for something to pop up on my computer. A few seconds seem like minutes, and minutes seem like hours, while waiting for computer programs to open or software to update.

Finding cell phone service has become less of a problem, but it can be frustrating trying to get it in some areas, or having a phone call end while traveling through a dead zone.

The most aggravating is to call a company with a problem and having to go through a long list of “hit 1 for this or hit 2 for that” as the commands go on and on, only to get disconnected and having to start over. This tips my annoyance tolerance off the charts.

Delays with transportation can be frustrating as well. I recently experienced a five-hour flight delay at JFK Airport after a long journey back from the UK. Frustrating as that was, I was just too tired to do anything but accept the long wait.

All these things are a part of our lives as the merry-go-round world we live in moves faster and faster.

We can’t say stop world and get off, but we can look for ways to conquer our impatience and channel our frustration into something positive. Anyone have some suggestions?

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