Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Loss of Patience

Once upon a time, a homeschool mommy had to decide on curriculum in May.  June at the latest. You had to place your order by 4th of July to be certain of having your books by late August or Labor Day.  With Amazon Prime now, people don't want to wait a week for an order to arrive.

Once upon a time, there were no answering machines.  If you phoned someone who was on vacation, they didn't answer, and you couldn't leave a message.  And you certainly couldn't call them where they were.  You waited until they came home to ask your question.  Now we tend to freak out if someone hasn't responded in 10 or 15 minutes.

Once upon a time, people had to go to the bank.  And they had to do it during "bankers' hours."  No direct deposit.  No ATMs.  No taking a picture of a check to deposit it via your Smartphone.

Once upon a time, you paid the doctor yourself and filled out the paperwork to be reimbursed someday by the insurance company.

Once upon a time, when you wanted to watch TV, you had to turn on the set and allow it to warm up for 3-5 minutes before you could get sound and a picture.

People today seem impatient.  People don't want to stop at red lights.  People don't want to wait in lines.  People don't recognize that political or economic policy-changes take a while before they have an effect.  People drive up to a window, hand over some cash, and expect a bag of dinner to be presented to them in less than two minutes.  People think that the doctor should be able to provide a pill or treatment that will improve the problem in a matter of a few hours and cure it within a couple of days.

We used to have all sorts of little, inconsequential, unimportant matters in which to practice patience.  Technology has erased many of those things.  (And it sure is nice to be able to talk easily and cheaply with someone who lives a continent away.)  But technology has also made us extremely impatient with the concept of patience.