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Patience – and the new world

March 12, 2009 1 comment

One of the most amazing features of digital revolution of the last 20 years – is immediate access to information. Over the years we got our information faster and faster: FAX, BBS, Email, SMS, Google, iPhone, Facebook, Tweeter.
Every iteration not only it gets faster, but it also makes us think less before we are trying to retrieve it and produces some element of expectation of instant gratification.

Sometime I’m thinking about what did we do before all the information was available to us? We actually had to research a subject through books, go to the library, think about what we are looking for, actually study a subject – so we will not have to look it up in a book every time… we tried to memorize facts and formulas so they will be available for us when we need them.

One human attribute which I think this revolution affected in a negative form – is Patience. We don’t have patience today to wait. I personally can’t stand websites that don’t give me my data instantaneously, page load delays of over 0.5s drive me nuts – and an idea that I will not be able to find what I’m looking for in less than 5 minutes – would make me give up on that search in the first place.

But patience is a required element – for acquiring knowledge, for self-improvement, for getting skilled at any topic. I look at my kids today – and I’m not sure how to instill it in them.

Is that a good thing?

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