Disclaimer - It may take you several minutes to read this in its entirety. I know your attention span will most likely opt out after reading this disclaimer, but if you commit to read through, you may have some food for thought to slow down and enjoy your weekend the way it is meant to be enjoyed.
We used to have more patience. A lot more patience. We were aligned with the rhythms of the seasons and of the day. Things were done slowly and with care; with intention and grace. Their used to be something called "pride of workmanship" and our hands were used to create beautiful things that stood the test of time.
"We used to dial; now we speed dial. We used to read; now we speed read. We used to walk; now we speed walk. Of course, we used to date; now we speed date. And even things that are by their very nature slow, we try to speed them up too. I was in New York recently and I walked past a gym and they had an advertisement for a new course and it was for, you guessed it, speed yoga."
~ Carl Honore
If you are reading this, you are probably guilty of reaching maximum stress and frustration waiting for a website to load or while on hold on the phone, going through endless automated prompts. It's a fact that today; tolerance for delay is in very short supply. What bothers me most about this trend is that this impatience is most pronounced in the children, embedded in them since birth as they observe mommy and daddy rushing through, well... everything. Today's children have grown up not having to wait for anything and it has become an expectation that their every whim is served in a second's time.
They don't have to wait for months to save a whole nickel for the Saturday movie show. They don't have to wait for mom and dad to take them to the video store on Friday night to rent a movie. They don't even have to wait 5 days for the mail to arrive with their new movie. With a click of a button, they can get their movies instantly via Netflix. Interesting how it's called "on demand". And we do grow to demand things... now!
A computer science professor named Ramesh Sitaraman, at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, examined the viewing habits of 6.7 million internet users in an study he conducted. The study was about viewer patience. How long were the subjects willing to be patient? The answer: two whole seconds. "After that they started abandoning," Sitaraman said. "After five seconds, the abandonment rate is 25 percent. When you get to 10 seconds, half are gone." Yup, on demand.
My sister recently took my daughters to Walt Disney World in Orlando. I was surprised to hear that that offer a special pass so you do not have to wait in line. "FASTPASS is a revolutionary guest enhancement at Walt Disney World Resort enabling guests to have an alternative to waiting in lines for the most popular attractions." Now we can all bypass waiting in line. I remember going to Disneyland back in 1975. Waiting in line was a part of the anticipation of the surprise that waited within. Families used this time to talk to one another and the discussion was about the fairy tales, our family vacation, what we had planned for the rest of the summer. While it was hot and we were in the dark netflix cast impatient, the impatience was exciting and a part of the experience. Again, it was anticipation.
Wikipedia defines it this way "Anticipation, or being enthusiastic, is an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety in considering some expected or longed-for good event."
Whereas impatience has a whole other "vibe": "Impatience: The quality of being impatient; lacking patience; restlessness and intolerance of delays; anxiety and eagerness, especially to begin something."