Real Time, Words with Friends and the Death of Patience

Blame it on the cell phone; good a bad guy as any.

This instant access, quick hit has done us in. Sure it started with TV remotes and microwaves, but it’s Digital, the freedom of wireless and high-speed Internetz that’s hit the FF button on work, on play, on life.

We’ve somehow bought into the NOW notion when it’s an impossible standard, a Gerber Baby expectation.

People won’t answer every call. Voicemail happens.

You can’t reply to every tweet in real time.

A text message doesn’t have the magical ability to alter the time-space continuum.

Emails may take a day before you ge reply. Ditto blog comments and Facebook questions.

That form or TPS report you so urgently need, may take 24 whole business hours.

This isn’t slow, this isn’t unprofessional, it’s not poor communications or customer relations – it’s reality.

No really that person – the doctor or sales manager or account coordinator you’re calling – they just can’t speak right now; they can’t stop everything they’re doing because you’re texting or tweeting.

I am ALL about the multitasking, I totally get we want want we want, need what we need but this Now, right the hell NOW! is killing us.

  • It’s rushing work and causing mistakes.
  • This instant on, lightning access is turning us into poor planners and procrastinators.
  • It’s lowering the quality of services and work and business. And our lives.
  • We’re becoming rude, short-tempered and unreasonable.

Yeah, I see them – Messrs Pot and Kettle are giving me some hairy eyeballs from across the room. I’ve had my iPhone 5 a whole week and already go all Dark Side and want my WWF NOW!!

Patience is supposed to be a virtue for some reason, probably because some slacker got sick of being rushed all the time. Or maybe there’s something to it?

Chill. Take a breath. Go for a walk. Have a drink. Relax and smile, that’s what I’m gonna try – along with a glass of wine. FWIW.

Photo credit: Lots of choices, this one from Motifake.

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12 Responses to “Real Time, Words with Friends and the Death of Patience”

  1. This morning I was getting a bit frustrated because my iPhone was a bit wonky, and then my computer was acting up, not functioning as it should. Then I took a breath and remembered this from Louis CK :) :D >> http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8m5d0_everything-is-amazing-and-nobody-i_fun “It’s going to space!”
    Craig McBreen recently posted..Explaining the direction of craigmcbreen.com

    [Reply]

    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Har! I know.. like I said, it’s some really unreasonable expectations we’ve developed.

    But.. it’s this notion that EVERY email requires an INSTANT reply. If I did that (vs. doing the actual thing, then sending one ‘Done’ message) I’d waste twice the time just in back and forth emails. I’ve been in situations, people working hard and others get upset, incensed, find it genuinely outrageous that whomever they want to reach can’t take a call that very second. Really? Then proceed to immediately text or email or whatever. Like, you’re kidding me?!

    A little patience, a healthy reality check on how long things can and should take, all I’m asking for. Myself included. FWIW.

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  2. We have this saying at my company; ‘getting it done and doing it right’. You cannot do one and not the other but if you had to choose between the two, the ‘doing it right’ has more value. We can multi-task our pants off and we are more available and accessible than ever before. Doesnt mean that little gadget actually put hours into our day :)
    Christina Pappas recently posted..7 Things You Need in Your Customer ENewsletter

    [Reply]

    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    No and yes. I’m replying while out at lunch. Sans gadget I couldn’t so that multitask has ‘saved’ time.

    But there’s the assumption that, with all the tools and toys, apps and Clouds at our disposal, that the work is also that easy, that they’ll do it for us, that we’re that ‘instant on.’ So a project I shoulda gotten 6 months ago, I get 4 weeks – w/ some hefty expectations to boot. Doing it right IS what I go for, but that patience to earn results, isn’t always there. FWIW.

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  3. Judy Gombita says:

    If you could sit yourself down and read one book, Davina, my recommendation would be to read the (Pulitzer-Prize-nominated) Nicholas Carr book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains. (And the basis of my Distraction Byte.)

    I think you will find it in line with your desire to reprogram yourself to dig deeper and take things slower. Live in the moment and savour the information and connections.
    Judy Gombita recently posted..Communication without borders…or marketplace competition

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Sitting down, one thing at a time.. what’s that? ;-) I jest Judy b/c I rarely have time for one thing at a time. I’m on a big treadmill kick lately, do my “walk ‘n watch” as my TV viewing (really helps w/ workout). And I figured out, I can read on my iPad while walking, so I’ll add that book to the wish list.

    It’s me as much as anything, not the toys or the tech. I’m very Inigo Montoya, hate waiting. Feels too much like wasting time, like I should also be doing something else. I need to learn to give – and get – a littlr more patience. Thanks.

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  4. Hi there Davina:) (See, I’m smiling:)

    It’s been a while since I’ve done more than lurk, but you know I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to say: no more multi-tasking! Sequential uni-tasking is the order of the day, I say.

    I’m all about the “slow down to speed up” work and lifestyle (especially if there’s wine). I believe we’re soon going to see either an explosion or implosion, as these tools that are supposed to make our lives so much easier become our masters, rather than tools at our disposal. Just like an employee who constantly knocks at the door of their boss, looking to dump their problem onto someone else’s desk, we should be able to turn them around, as we should the tools, so that we are proactive rather than responsive to them (on the employee note, here’s my mantra: I have an open door policy, but come to me with a potential solution, not a problem)

    Good stuff: I’ll join you for smiles and wine anytime. Cheers! Kaarina
    Kaarina Dillabough recently posted..10 Things I’m Grateful for this Thanksgiving Weekend

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Sorry I’m still down w/ multi-tasking Kaarina – I did my laundry, cleaned, planned trips, all while working yesterday; I watch my TV shows while on the treadmill :-) – but I will totally agree w/ you on this – we need to control the tools and not let them control us. Too much tail wagging the dog for sure.. and I’m trying to rediscover my patience. FWIW.

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  5. Jack says:

    It is sometimes surreal to me to think about how impatient I have become, let alone society. Instant gratification hasn’t been good for everything.

    I see the results all over the place, meetings, parking lots, freeways etc.
    Jack recently posted..Bad Editors- It Is Too Important Not To Write

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    I get forced into sometimes – clients wait til “the last minute” and then want ads, newsletters and emails, basically whole campaigns in days rather than months (w/ out rush charges or mistakes too). Sigh. We’re spoiled by the instant gratification, it’s totally addictive and IDK I guess this is a reminder to myself as much as anything to opt for a little patience once in a while.

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  6. Adam says:

    Great point Davina. The constant access and buzz of information has made people incredibly impatient. Think how bothered we get when a web page loads slowly or our high speed access is dragging.

    And this new norm is a challenge for organizations, as colleagues, vendors and customers often expect near instant responses.
    Adam recently posted..7 Secret Customer Service Techniques Every Expert Knows: Our eBook is Here!

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    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Last month Adam, I had to look up how to print a disc list it’d been so long since I had to burn a CD; and I’m used to it, the FTP, presto whamo Cloud instant transfer. Used to speed of demand and DVR – DVDs take too long now ;) – and I’m a fairly patient person.

    But I am changing. I’ll get going on something, a blog post or layout, and get so annoyed if I get beeped or buzzed. I have to stop, smile and just be patient – with myself, with others, even pokey Google. FWIW.

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