There’s no denying it: life is speeding up, and our sense of tine is being warped and our patience is declining.
Slowness rage is not confined to the sidewalk, of course. Slow drivers, slow Internet, slow grocery lines—they all drive us crazy. Even the opening of this article may be going on a little too long for you. So I’ll get to the point. Slow things drive us crazy because the fast pace of society has warped our sense of timing. Things that our great-great-grandparents would have found miraculously efficient now drive us around the bend. Patience is a virtue that’s been vanquished in the Twitter age.
The linked article is consistently ibteresting throughout, containing a number of interesting annectdotes, including the following:
A down-to-earth gauge was established by psychologist Robert Levine in the early 1990s, when he sent his students around the world to take the pulse of 31 large cities. They timed random people as they walked over a distance of 60 feet. In Vienna, Austria, where I live, pedestrians covered the ground in a respectable 14 seconds. But in my former home of New York, pedestrians zoomed by in 12 seconds. In the 2000s, psychologist Richard Wiseman found worldwide walking speeds had gone up by 10 percent.
The pace of our lives is linked to culture. Researchers have shown society’s accelerating pace is shredding our patience. In tests, psychologists and economists have asked subjects if they would prefer a little bit of something now or a lot of it later; say, $10 today versus $100 in a year, or two pieces of food now versus six pieces in 10 seconds.