Are We Losing Our Patience?

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In a survey of 2,000 adults in Britain, the Bic company found that most people nowadays quickly run out of patience if forced to wait for something (

People reported themselves “frustrated” if a webpage takes 16 second to load, or a traffic signal takes 25 seconds to change–and only 22 seconds to start cursing their computer or TV “if a show or movie doesn’t immediately start streaming correctly.” Seventy-five percent of those surveyed blamed “digital technology” for their loss of patience.

I don’t have a lot of digital doodads, but I can certainly admit that my computer often drives me crazy. If computers were human employees, they’d be fired. If a computer can’t drive you up the wall, what can?

The survey didn’t get into this, but I think that chronic impatience, if it’s truly on the rise, has a lot to do with children being praised and rewarded for even the most minuscule achievements, given trophies just for showing up, given high school and college diplomas without having learned anything, and generally being hailed and lauded just for existing–and all the while being made to wait and wait and wait some more, being ignored, being treated as irritating nobodies instead of valued customers, etc. Workmen who show up late or not at all, inferior slop served up by our “entertainment” media as if we deserved nothing better, politicians calling us racists, self-proclaimed intellectuals calling us dopes–there’s a lot of insult out there, more than enough to go around. Selfishness seems to be winning out over good manners.

It’s what we get for permitting the coarsening of our culture.

4 comments on “Are We Losing Our Patience?

  1. I think that the tech world and smartphones, etc. have a lot to do with this. They are frustrating to deal with because of the waiting involved. Dealing with angry end-users is common in IT support and I believe it’s because the minor irritations add up over time.

  2. Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. I drew upon this virtue today when I called AT&T about the severe increase in my monthly bill. The customer service lady I talked to but I could hardly understand her when she talked to me gave me no satisfaction, so I waited on her supervisor as I did my email and Lee’s Blog comments. An hour later the supervisor was still with another customer – yeah, right. I politely hung up and now I am looking at other options (AT&T gives to Planned Parenthood and other liberal organizations, so good riddance).

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