Gen­er­a­tion im­pa­tient

We’re an im­pa­tient lot. So much so that Cosmo’s Joshua Joynes couldn’t wait for the bus to get to work… he took an Uber. But don’t stress, we’ve cracked the pa­tience code so you can wait in peace

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Contents -

BE­TWEEN LEARN­ING how to tie our shoelaces and be­ing a nice per­son, grow­ing up, we’re bom­barded with a bar­rage of life lessons. I’d like to think af­ter 24 years I can suc­cess­fully tie my laces and that I’ve evolved into a pretty de­cent hu­man be­ing. That said, when it comes to pa­tience, I seem to be lack­ing. Be­ing on hold, stand­ing in a queue or wait­ing for a de­liv­ery gets me re­ally worked up (I’m talk­ing low­key rag­ing). Af­ter be­ing called out for it by a few friends re­cently, I got think­ing. Was I a by­prod­uct of my im­pa­tient gen­er­a­tion, or had I failed to pick up on the art of pa­tience grow­ing up?

I can dis­tinc­tively re­mem­ber as a kid avoid­ing sleep the night be­fore Christ­mas Day or tor­tur­ing my par­ents with ‘Are we there yet?’ all the way to our hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion. I like to think they’re ex­am­ples of fairly rea­son­able child­ish be­hav­iour, but some­where be­tween ado­les­cence and pre­tend­ing to adult, I never stopped act­ing this way. I just traded Christ­mas Day for com­bust­ing while I wait on ASOS or­ders, and hol­i­day angst turned into pulling my hair out wait­ing for Riverdale fi­nales. I’m un­de­ni­ably im­pa­tient, but I’m not alone, ac­cord­ing to Lysn psy­chol­o­gist Michelle Pal, who says there’s a grow­ing epi­demic.

Tech to blame?

‘Tech­nol­ogy has [seen] an in­creased ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion that has con­tributed to our im­pa­tience – we are fully aware of how long things take, we can track things in real time and fol­low things up eas­ily if it’s not hap­pen­ing fast enough,’ says Pal. How many of us have stalked the Pizza Hut driver from the restau­rant to your house, shout­ing at your screen as to why he/she took the wrong turn? We’re so sat­u­rated with im­me­di­acy that we’re no longer used to to wait­ing for any­thing. Stream­ing ser­vices like Net­flix have ac­quired a global au­di­ence through their on­de­mand plat­form, drop­ping en­tire sea­sons at once for your binge­view­ing plea­sure. Heaven for­bid we sit out an en­tire sea­son over two months. Nope, we have to find out who dies in episode 19 tonight!

The will to wait has been lost in our gen­er­a­tion, and it’s big business. ‘Skip’ is an Aus­tralian­based app that of­fers queueskip­ping ser­vices for food and cof­fee – the pay­ment is all sorted elec­tron­i­cally, much like our con­ve­nient friend Uber. ‘We’ve be­come con­di­tioned to hav­ing ev­ery­thing we need right at our fin­ger­tips, and it’s in­ter­est­ing to note the ways tech­nol­ogy im­pacts our habits and per­son­al­i­ties. We’re liv­ing in a con­sumer­driven and in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic so­ci­ety, mean­ing there is pres­sure on each in­di­vid­ual to at­tain cer­tain goals, and with that comes the need to get things done in a shorter amount of time that ren­ders us to act im­pa­tiently.’

The dan­gers of im­pa­tience

Be­ing im­pa­tient isn’t some­thing to un­der­es­ti­mate. In fact, there’s a more se­ri­ous side to the psy­chol­ogy of be­ing an im­pa­tient per­son. Stud­ies have shown that higher lev­els of im­pa­tience are linked to high blood pres­sure in young adults, lead­ing to ma­jor health con­di­tions over time. It is also com­monly linked to obe­sity. ‘If you can­not forgo the plea­sures of to­day for long­term ben­e­fits to your health, then you are more likely to reach out for that snack or sug­ary treat,’ says Pal. This mind­set is some­thing we can all re­late to: It’s of­ten a lot eas­ier and more con­ve­nient to make poor health de­ci­sions.

This also ex­tends to our fi­nances. The con­cept of want­ing ev­ery­thing ‘right now’ is dan­ger­ous when it comes to things like credit cards, ex­plains Pal. The con­ve­nience of a credit card makes peo­ple lose sight of the value of money, and mak­ing wise fi­nan­cial choices more dif­fi­cult with the in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion that comes with be­ing loaned money. Plat­forms like Nim­ble make it easy – loans up to $5,000 with a speedy, ‘no face­to­face’ process. Mean­ing we can have what­ever we want, with­out re­ally ever hav­ing to save or wait for the right to time to spend.

The flip side

Be­ing im­pa­tient is only as bad as you make it, I found out – im­pa­tience can be a virtue, bring­ing en­ergy and in­ten­sity to tasks at hand. ‘We all know how a tight dead­line can make us work more pro­duc­tively and push to get things done, and the same can be said for an im­pa­tient per­son. The habit of want­ing things re­solved or done quicker gen­er­ally means that you will find the fastest and most pro­duc­tive way to do it.’ If you find the bal­ance be­tween manic im­pa­tience and pro­fi­ciency, I say you’re onto some­thing. But don’t let pa­tience get in the way of your ev­ery­day life – there’s a fine line be­tween get­ting things done promptly and pop­ping a vein (or two) out of rage over a queue. Bal­ance is key, peo­ple. But first, let me or­der Uber Eats for lunch...


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