Today’s technology presents the world at our fingertips. At the click of a mouse we are on the other side of the globe chatting with a friend we may or may not have met in person. We watch war in real time on a choice of devices wherever we are. The world has become an ‘instant’ place. Yet we seem impatient for more. More time and more convenience.
Do you wait at the microwave, impatiently watching the seconds count down, ready to grab at the contents at the first beep? We prerecord our TV favourites to fast-forward through the ads; once we would have used that time to make a cup of tea or use the facilities, even converse with our viewing companions.
We bank online, retail therapy takes the shape of looking at pictures on a screen and clicking the ‘add to cart’ button, because physically waiting in a queue has become even more of a chore, and who has the time? But if you must shop in person, now you can serve yourself saving both time and personal interaction.
In fact we can have our groceries delivered 7 days a week, and why not order those pre-prepared frozen meals while we are at it. Saves all that time in the kitchen, and we needn’t get out of our armchair for more than the 45 seconds it takes to put it in and take it out of the microwave. (oh but that microwave takes a whole 7-8 minutes out of our time to heat).
No time to go for a walk? Use the Wii and no one will know when you cheat and just wave your arms around from the sofa.
The ‘Sunday Driver’ has gone the way of Sunday drives. He has been replaced by the road rager, and the wannabe race driver. And don’t mention those traffic lights. They must take at least 5 minutes to change. (They don’t, I have timed them.)
So what to do with the spare time we are in so much of a hurry to save? Well it seems we don’t have any spare time after all. We are time poor, busier than ever. So we devour the barrage of cooking shows and books in an endeavor to learn how to cook in half the time. And we buy all the latest gadgets to move through our tasks quicker; fan forced ovens, even faster microwaves (really?), and washing machines with a quick wash option, or the one that washes then dries so we don’t have to waste our precious time taking clothes from one machine to the other.
I wonder what would happen if we turned off some of our technology and went out to smell the roses? Well, we might get stung by a bee, or get hayfever. Or we might just enjoy it; decide to make it a priority. We might just find a way to make time.
Written waiting for my frozen meal to heat while fast forwarding the ads.