Are We Living Too Fast?

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We’re living in an period the place new applied sciences are launched virtually every day. Most of these applied sciences are designed with the aim of entertaining or offering comfort to the user – the latter typically within the type of time-saving.

Few people would disagree that the invention of the vacuum cleaner or washer has had tremendous advantages for the common person with restricted time and energy to spare on such mundane household tasks. Faster aviation has helped join the globe, making it possible for people to get on a plane and arrive on the opposite side of the planet in lower than a day later. The voice command function on our telephones permits us to quickly search Google with out the hassle of getting to type a single word.

Reducing time appears to be the main precedence of not simply tech builders and engineers, however of the common person attempting to construct a lifestyle based round efficiency. Take Silicon Valley; the hub of worldwide entrepreneurs, start-ups and world-famous companies. With a workaholic tradition and emphasis on over-achievement comes sure lifestyle tendencies designed to minimize wastage of time and subsequently increase productivity. But what occurs when this perceived ‘time wastage’ actually involves actions that aren’t simply important for our psychological health, however vital for our bodily well being – such as consuming and sleeping? Is our obsession with speeding up duties beginning to do us extra hurt than good? 

A recent startup named Soylent are promoting what they declare to be the final liquid meal – a shake designed to give its consumer the necessary vitamins and feeling of fullness a typical meal would, however in solely a fifth of the time. No want to browse the grocery store throughout your break, or put together lunch boxes from home, when you can instead wolf down a protein-packed drink in a single minute. No want to seek for recipes, purchase ingredients, stand in queue at a takeaway or – most time-consuming of all – sit down with household and friends for a correct meal. It could additionally be the ideal imaginative and prescient for an ambitious younger person looking to maximise their time spent at work – however at what expense?

There is, after all, a reason we have lunch breaks within the primary place – and it’s not solely for the sake of curbing starvation or nourishing ourselves. Taking a break from work to clear your head and recharge could be extra beneficial to your profession than instead utilizing that point to cram in additional work. “From a productiveness standpoint, there are diminishing marginal returns when you ask your mind to exert fixed effort through an eight-hour day,” says Dr. Janet Scarborough Civitelli, a office psychologist. “When workers skip a lunch break on a common basis, they often don’t realize that fatigue and burnout are creeping up on them till they get up one day and ‘suddenly’ really feel much less enthusiastic about their jobs or businesses.

Brigid Schulte, a Washington think-tank member and author of ‘Overwhelmed’, explains additional how the mindset of devoting as a lot time as possible to work can ironically make one much less productive, leaving one fatigued and with decreased psychological cognitive ability. “All the analysis shows, from neuroscience to financial data, that [more work] actually doesn’t produce the best results,she says in an interview with BBC. “You get to 50 hours a week and your productiveness begins to decline. You get to fifty five hours a week and it falls off a cliff. Most people would be extra productive in the event that they actually did less…we are definitely losing creativity and innovation when we work a lot and get so tired.

On top of this, a significant variety of individuals have already got their focus skills and energy ranges compromised by not getting sufficient sleep. When overworked employees have to slot in all socializing or ‘me time’ towards the finish of the day, they typically go to mattress at a later hour – sometimes not till the early morning. Then, the particularly ambitious will get up solely a few hours later to slot in a morning jog or get a head-start on their emails. Arianna Huffington describes the world’s widespread sleep deprivation as a ‘global well being crisis’, and claims the perpetuation of a “sleep is for the weak” attitude amongst professionals is to blame. In her book, ‘The Sleep Revolution’, Huffington argues that higher sleep, and no extra work, is the important thing to extra successful, fulfilling lives.

Critical thinking and focus skills aside, general well-being can additionally take a hit amidst an accelerated lifestyle. Sit-down dinners with household and friends aren’t the one social event we sacrifice in try to spend extra time at work. With instant messaging, people talk face-to-face considerably much less often than they did a few decades ago. Whilst on-line chat brings with it a whole vary of advantages (shy introverts or individuals who regularly discover themselves pressed for time can testify), there’s one thing to be said for going the additional mile in assembly up with a person. A study at Stanford University even discovered that depression is higher amongst youngsters who extra frequently use instant messaging. “The ease of on-line communication may result in weaker social ties, because people have much less reason to leave their homes and actually work together face to face.” Furthermore, the absence of physique language and intonation in on-line communication may imply that frequent users of instant messaging struggle to develop basic social cues.

That brings me to hurry dating; a weird idea to some, a logical one for others. Though speed dating is not reliant upon technology and was extra common within the 90s than it’s today, modern-day dating apps appear to be based upon the identical idea of expediting the event of relationships. Tinder, the dating app which permits customers to ‘cut to the chase’, is a prime example. A fast swipe in both direction will let a user match with these they discover attractive (based on as a lot as 5 images and a brief description), while disregarding the others. Once two customers match with every other, both one can begin a dialog in a private chat. The nature of the app leaves customers with clear expectations as to this being a possible romance. Users typically exchange messages from between one hour to one week earlier than assembly up. Though the app is hailed by many as a simplified, handy and straight-forward means for busy people to make romantic connections, others fear about the normalization of a straight-to-dating culture.

Tinder, and different apps aimed to hurry up relationship building, have people forego many basic psychological and emotional steps of relationship-building. Neither user has a lot time to get to know their ‘match’ outside the realm of romantic expectations, and can therefore not construct the romantic connection upon a pre-existing friendship. Not a precedence for some people, maybe – however others might discover this expedited type of dating an emotionally unfulfilling experience; extra shallow and unsatisfying than it’s romantic and rewarding.

Finally – even our playtime is pushed apart in favour of ‘saving time’. People are choosing fast energy exercises versus stamina-building activities, attempting to burn as many energy as possible in a brief interval of time, rather than exercising for pleasure and for mindfulness. Online, you’ll discover loads of guides for how to meditate in simply under 5 minutes. Strategy video games which typically require patience are revived in ‘speed variations’. On the game-streaming platform Twitch, speed run-throughs (which can see a participant full a 5-hour game in 30 minutes) are rising in popularity, the place variants like ‘speed poker’ have gotten extra common than the sport from which they initially derive. Speed chess and speed scrabble are additionally increasing in popularity – however do these fast mini-games truly give the identical satisfaction as playing with the one-hour dedication for which these video games were initially designed?

It appears that point discount is these days additionally leading to a discount of relaxation and enjoyment. As John Lennon as soon as said, “time you loved losing is not wasted time”. With the clear emotional and bodily risks of living too fast, maybe we ought to place greater worth on the day-to-day duties which deserve our focused attention. Maybe, rather than wishing the train commute was shorter, we ought to instead appreciate the uncommon moments in which we can be left alone with our thoughts, watch the wildlife whizzing past, or lastly allow ourselves the luxurious of diving right into a good book…