It’s already happening. I can feel the changes taking place in my brain. I don’t want to change, but it’s something outside of my control.
I’m becoming impatient. We, as a continuously advancing society, are lazy. In the age of increasingly better and better technology, our attention gap is waning.
I’m at the point where, if the website I’m trying to load takes too long, I close out of it. I forget about it. If the video I’m watching on YouTube is too long, I don’t watch it. I’m becoming more and more impatient.
I stopped watching television. Why? The commercial gaps are too long and not worth my time. I pay for a music service subscription. Why? There are too many commercials that I have to wait through. I use the Tapingo app to buy my Starbucks coffee. Why? The line is too long to wait in, even if it is just a ten-minute wait.
I’m so used to Amazon Prime and two-day shipping. I can buy something and have it here two days later. Speed is everything.
But at the same time, I hate it because it makes me dislike myself. Where’s the person who used to enjoy waiting? The person who wasn’t so impatient with technology? The person who used to enjoy reading actual books?
I haven’t read an actual book for fun in a long time. I don’t have the time and patience to sit in one place and just read. But I subscribed to a website that sends me a chapter of a book a day. It gives me something to read in bite-sized pieces. It’s small and simple.
I think it all started with Facebook. In 2016, Facebook changed its algorithm (yet again) to feature shorter articles and videos with lots of hits. People were more likely to watch a one-minute video than to read a 500-word article with the same exact content. This seemed like a good change, until it exploded.
Now, I can’t scroll through my timeline on Facebook without seeing videos about any and everything.
There are videos showing me local heroes, how to frost a fancy cake, people with great singing skills and even easy yoga poses. Some are interesting to watch; others make me wonder why anyone cares about the topic.
Is Facebook suddenly a platform for just video content? I check it to stay up-to-date with my friends and family, not to see “50 ways to update your home without buying anything.” If I wanted to view that kind of content, I’d look for it elsewhere.
I dislike the quickness of the internet sometimes. Sure, it does make doing my homework easier or finding out if my dog can eat blueberries, but I like being able to search for something. I like digging to find what I need.
I want to change back. I want to be the Emily who stared out the window for a long time and forgot about her cup of tea until it became cold. The girl who spent hours sitting and knitting a scarf for a friend without watching a movie, listening to music or even checking her phone for the time. I want to slow down.
Maybe I should quit it. Disconnect myself from social media. I’d have a lot more free time and a heck of lot better attitude because I wouldn’t be seeing depressing news all the time. Best of all, I would be back to my old, patient self.
Emily Schnipke is a third-year communication student with a minor in English. She is also the IC’s editor-in-chief.