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
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...
THESE BUBBLES AREN’T COMING OUT FAST ENOUGH!