What’s the Hurry?

All across the United States, especially in cities and suburbs, and in business, everyone’s in a hurry. The mad rush is everywhere. Seemingly everything has to be done faster.

Amazon Prime is “encouraging” employees to become private contractors so it can cut delivery times to one day.

The local university is adopting a trimester program and cutting semester lengths from 15 weeks to 13 weeks so that students can graduate in three years instead of four, despite the fact that there are already more college graduates than there are jobs that require a college education and that the speeded up education will cost just as much and will have less content. Yet for all this hurry, fewer and fewer students are emotionally ready for college, let alone the workforce or a professional career.

Parents are in such a rush that they register children for select preschools as soon as they’re born, and some even game the college admission system. The kiddy-porn-clothes industry is doing its best to accelerate sexual awareness in pre-teens.

Highway speed limits keep climbing, and despite speed limits of 80 mph on the interstate here, if you travel at 80, eighty percent of the other travelers will pass you, including more than a few semis. I see mothers in minivans doing 40 mph in 25 mph residential areas, and more than half of them are on cell phones at the same time.

Television shows are electronically compressed so that things happen faster, and Amazon Prime and Netflix release new series all at once so that viewers and speed-binge-watch them faster and faster. Video games move faster and faster. Basketball has shot clocks to keep the action moving fast.

Bosses and superiors get impatient if emails or texts aren’t answered in minutes.

Politicians are hurrying to start their next campaigns earlier and earlier, while fewer and fewer of government problems are getting addressed. The members of Congress were sworn in less than six months ago, and re-election campaigns are already in full swing. That’s clear from the solicitations I’ve already gotten. And certainly all the hurrying by politicians to start the next new campaign hasn’t done much for getting the old problems fixed.

But what’s the point of all this speed? When children are forced into growing up earlier, is that good for them? When they’re hurried from planned activity to planned activity, with little free play time, is that in their best interest? And is fast-tracking them into colleges and insisting that colleges give them high-level vocational training, and little else, to speed them into the work force in anyone’s interest, except that of business?

When employees keep having to hurry to answer electronic status requests, does that help them get their real work done well and on time? Or is that why U.S. work hours keep getting longer and longer?

And, as for taking any time to stop and smell the roses, since no one has the time to cultivate roses, the only roses most people ever see are South American hothouse roses with no scent at all.

3 thoughts on “What’s the Hurry?”

  1. R. Hamilton says:

    Whether the machine not to be a cog in is government, or business, or peer pressure, people have always had to make some effort to retain control of their own priorities. If one is at least as productive, one can perhaps resist some of the business caused extremes (not necessarily hard, because responding fast to trivia has to be a distraction from non-trivia). For private matters, one can simply choose, even if that also means choosing what to give up to make time. Or leaving earlier, to reduce the need to drive aggressively; or losing a bit of short-term popularity with the pack, some of which may come back as long as one sets their direction with reasonable courtesy.

    I didn’t elaborate on one category of machine…because once you surrender to that, good luck getting back what you gave up.

  2. Wine Guy says:

    Instead of trying to control and calm the monkey brain (as the buddhists call it), it seems as if modern Western culture is attempting to ‘ride it’ until it causes complete mental and moral collapse of people and society. I’ve talked to my daughters about the fallacy of ‘multi-tasking’ – they remain convinced that they do it well when they actually just do half-assed work on the two to four things they are ‘multitasking’ on. Granted, most times that is satisfactory, but when it is not, they have a hard time dealing with the criticism that comes with a poor job.

    Considering that many of the ‘hurry up’ things involve screens/computers/instant gratification situations, I believe that most people are merely rushing from one dopamine hit to the next. It’s a little pop psychology, but the idea and neurochemistry is sound.

    1. Wine Guy says:

      There is also this allegedly modern idea of “FOMO” – the “Fear Of Missing Out.”

      It is an artificial construct because things like Facebook and Instagram give one the illusion that it is possible to keep up with everything others are doing while also doing your own thing… and eventually only a very few are doing anything and everyone else is just sitting around, watching.

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