I was struck by a recent article from a Guardian journalist who details her trials with instant gratification. Being one of those infamous millennials the lass simply cannot wait more than a grand total of two minutes for anything, and reading her piece I empathised 100%. Having grown up in a world where technology has meant things happen at lightening speed, I'm also a guilty party when it comes to patience. I'll occasionally send a postcard when on holiday just for the nostalgia of it, and then marvel / simmer with frustration that it arrives after I'm already back from my travels.
In her article, Coco Khan laments her inability to be patient, but does this world really allow you to be? Tech has changed the game drastically and everyone knows you have access to your phone at all times of the day, and that you can get anywhere in a heartbeat with Uber, so there aren't any more excuses. When we get frustrated because things are slow, it's also because we know how much there is to do and how much people expect of us with the tech we have available.
So while patience is undoubtedly a virtue, it's not really one that we are allowed to indulge in any longer. The next few decades will also probably see countless psychological studies related to how tech has changed our sense of time and our ability to wait. We have already seen research showing that millennials are demonstrating greater fears of intimacy having grown up surrounded by more sexual media content than their parents and grandparents, and we can only wonder what we'll happen as we get less and less patient. I'm fairly certain some temper tantrums at Thameslink stations across the country are a fairly likely outcome though.
What can I say? I’m part of the instant gratification generation, said to be ruined by technology that delivers everything instantly: messages, transport, dinner, information. We want results right now, an impulse that may be good for political change, but not for paper-based admin.