One of the only constants over the past couple hundred years has been change. Change that just keeps getting faster and faster. Life that just keeps getting faster and faster.
Why walk when you have a bike? Why ride when you can take the train? Why share a train with the unwashed masses when you can get to your destination faster and in more comfort with your car? And why be happy with that miracle of modern industry when the movies tell you the darn thing should fly?
Why travel to visit someone when you can send a letter? Why go to the effort of writing if you can just call them on the phone? Or send them an email? Or an instant message? Or a like?
Why go see the world, when you can read about it? Or watch it on tv? Or get fed it through your phone?
It almost feels like we measure progress by speed. The faster, the easier, the better. And indeed, having the option to consult the oracle in your pocket is one of the wonders of the modern world.
It’s hard to argue that we’d be any better off by needing to drive to the library to learn something new, or by waiting for weeks for our letter to arrive at its destination.
But have we really gained anything from the ability to spray out 140-character messages without a moment’s thought, distracting others with industrial efficiency?
Have we really gained anything from the ability to like a friend’s comment so easily, that it makes us think twice before replying with “thank you”?
It begs the question; how fast does life really need to be?