The last month has been one big waiting game for me. Waiting for information, waiting for people to get back to me, waiting for documents and letters come through the post, waiting in telephone queues. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
I’ve always been a slightly impatient person, but I’ve noticed over the past few years my impatience has gotten much worse. As a case in point, I’ve already stopped to check my emails and Twitters three times since I started writing this. And I can say with absolute certainty that living in an on-demand world, coupled with working in media has made my impatience even worse. Clients asks for things asap, which means I ask for things asap and everything starts to feel like a dire emergency. You see how this impatient behaviour can easily spill into my personal life.
While I was mulling this post over, I started to think about all things that I don’t have to wait as long for as I used to. Want to see a film before it’s come out on DVD? Buy a pirate version or find a Torrent online and download it. Want to hear the latest single from your favourite artist? Download it on iTunes and then use your favorite music service to find all the remixes. Waiting for a friend to get back to you about something? Don’t wait, just text / poke / IM / email / ring them on their mobile.
Living in a Western hyper-consumerist, as soon as possible society, I’m always slightly thrown when I leave the UK and venture further afield, even if it’s only to France and see how differently things operate. But on holiday, there’s a certain pleasure that’s derived from waiting and recognising that there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. But back at home, even the smallest things now invoke hair-pulling, bile-inducing fury. Hearing that something is going to take approximately 10 days causes the most stress when you know that you need it NOW NOW NOW.
Patience has been defined as the state of endurance under difficult circumstances. Are we so used to having everything on-demand, so spoilt, that the slightest hiccup makes us throw our toys out of the pram? The answer is most likely yes. And the next generation are going to be even worse.