Posted by: craigmetke | November 6, 2014

Never on Time

The Internet and the digital mechanics it is built on has messed up our perception of time.

Consider our predecessors: individuals would wait weeks or months for telegrams to be delivered, only to then wait an equal amount of time for a response; and this was acceptable. There was no sense of urgency in the minutes or hours after sending a message. Contrast that with your own frustration when you have to wait two or more hours for a response to a text message; the agony!

I attribute this level if immediacy not entirely on a social desire for instant gratification, but more so on our learned understanding of digital mechanics and system operations.

Click a link and a web-page is displayed in five seconds. Query Google and infinite results are returned in even less. Select a source of entertainment and visuals are streamed instantly.

We have become conditioned to interact with a response system where input and output are instantaneous; a system of immediate response to our query. Our measurement of time has narrowed because we’ve been trained to interact with highly flexible algorithms designed to respond to our every wish command.

We are susceptible in blurring the lines between human – systems interaction and human – human interaction. We have tools at our disposal which eliminate the waiting room; we show up to the doctor’s office and are admitted the moment we walk through the door. And when we do have to wait in uncomfortable chairs with months-old issues of People magazine, minutes turn into eternity.

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