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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Be patient, ‘now’ generation

    Today’s generation (myself included) expects to see instant results. We live in a society of nothing but information. We have more information whenever we want it than any previous generation. With the advancements of the Internet and its accessibility, the present generation has become accustomed to having everything “now.” Thus, we are often referred to as the “now” generation. The advancement of mobile phones to be almost anything but a phone today is further proof that we have to have everything readily available. Even the realm of mobile phones has expanded to mobile devices that don’t even function as phones, but simply Internet accessible devices.

    While this need for instant gratification is more apparent in the younger age brackets, it affects all age groups. As a result of this, we have grown more impatient and intolerant as a society. We expect things to be done at our own pace, which for many of us is quite rapid. We expect other people to work within our time frames and personal expectations. Our tempers are shorter because our expectations exceed what most people can produce.

    Fast food chains are a perfect example of how society has progressed over the past twenty to thirty years. Just a few decades ago there were substantially less fast food restaurants around. Today, there is one on almost every street corner. Our need for quicker service has forced fast food places to pop up at an astonishing rate. And this isn’t just in the United States, but other countries like India and China as well. Saffron Media of India reports that the fast food industry in India is growing at an astonishing 20-30 percent. Even “fast” food doesn’t seem to be “fast” enough to meet our expectations. Have you ever found yourself not going through a drive-thru because there were two cars in front of you? The need for such instant gratification has gotten in the way of a simple five minute wait for a meal.

    This need for instant results has largely been fueled by the Internet. Just ten to fifteen years ago most of the world was still running on dial-up modems from companies like America Online (AOL), EarthLink and Prodigy. This was an amazing breakthrough for society that we could have such information readily available at our fingertips and in our homes in a matter of minutes. The time it took to research something could be cut down by hours and even days.

    Today our patience with the Internet has grown shorter than ever. The days of dial-up are long behind us. We find ourselves annoyed because a webpage that once took 30 seconds to load takes 10 seconds to load now. The ability to have cut down many days’ worth of work into just hours was once a great relief.

    Whether we are simply fed up because the printer takes more than 15 seconds to print out a document or because the line at the grocery store has more than two people in it we all have a need for instant results. As a society we have become impatient, which has led us to become irritable and unsatisfied with the things we already have. Next time you find yourself tapping your toe or rolling your thumbs waiting for something, think about how nice it is that we can have things in the short amount of time that we can today. Embrace the little luxuries society has allowed us and quit dwelling on the need for the immediate. Our way of life and society in general, will be a much happier place because of it.

    — Joshua Segall is a management information systems senior He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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