Welcome to Society Now.
The advent of technology continues to revolutionize our world, but at what price? I believe what has been the greatest benefit, comes with unrealized consequences.
But thats what happens when society is built on a mentality of now, instead of later: fast food, emails, video streaming. The generation of waiting is slowly disappearing; patience along with it. I find it frustrating sometimes when I have to wait for my computer to start up. Imagine that...an entire minute or two and I am complaining how long its taking.
During a talk by Carl Honore, on slowing down he made an interesting point. The way we look at time reflects how we spend it. Now breaking this thought down, we get two beliefs: either time is cyclical, or time is linear. The thought of time being cyclical gives us a sense of death and rebirth. A sense of renewal in the day, in the body and the mind. There seems to be something organic about this idea. Now, the linear time line is filled with limitations. The arrow of time moves through past, present and future; unfortunately there is no way of going back to the past. Concentrating on this belief, we start to compress as many activities as possible into our days.
Once we start compressing our days, we see chores in things that shouldn't be chores: a family dinner without the tv being on, a walk through the park with a dog, a phone call with a long-distance friend, reading a bedtime story to your child, etc. Now looking at our lifestyle....is this healthy? What's in store for us in the future? When fast food becomes faster? When emails just take too long? When teleportation is delayed by a millisecond?
How do you view time? Most of Western ideology lives in a linear time line. Unfortunately for us, the Delorean is not able to go back to the future, nor the past for that matter. We live in a world without a Delorean, and for good reason we will continue to do so. Instead we live with quotes that tell us to make the most out of our day. Making the most out of your day doesn't mean you need to fill it with every imaginable activity.
Its interesting to see countries in Europe trying something new. There are businesses that operate on 25 - 30 hour a week days. They are finding that their employees are more productive then then most 40+ hour businesses and their employees are much happier.
Fortunately for us, our future is in our hands. Bring the speed dial down once in while. We end this post with a quote from Ferris Bueller: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once a while, you could miss it."
Time for the a cup of the ol' green,