I was raised in an instant world.
That last comment came out nowhere. Sometimes I just have to speak in Ernest.
My generation was born into an American culture that transformed from black and white to color, Ovaltine to Nestles Quick, theater to VHS to DVD to streaming video, Encyclopedias to Wikipedia, Gomer Pyle to pay at the pump, stove to microwave, diners to fast food drive through. My generation has gradually become accustomed to having it now and has raised another generation which in turn is raising another generation to expect all to be available at their fingertips.
Patience is no longer a virtue. Those who are willing to wait are simpletons stuck living in the past.
One way I can tell that my wife has transitioned into a true American is by her incredulous insistence that all things must be instantaneous. For instance, when Miriam is using the family computer, I avoid our office and even occasionally leave the house completely, lest I am summoned to help her out and listen to her complain.
“This internet won’t do anything” (click click click click click… click……… CLICK)
I usually walk in to see the Windows start up screen transitioning or an icon at the top of the window indicating that her task is loading.. but she just clicked the mouse so many times that is never going to happen.
“Just walk away from the computer and come back in a minute.”
“Can’t you just fix it for me?”
There is no explaining that the only thing broken is patience.
She just called me to ask me why the furnace won’t go off. Our daughter and a friend are filming in our house for a school project. The furnace makes too much background noise. I asked her if she shut the furnace off at the thermostat.
“Yes, but it’s…. oh, … never mind.”
I didn’t have to explain that it takes about the same amount of time as dialing a cell phone for the thermostat to respond. And I probably shouldn’t even tackle the whole cell phone issue. Cell phones have given a whole new meaning for every husband to the phrase “you can run but you can not hide”. My wife knows because the cell phone knows.. and if that thing rings god forbid if a husband doesn’t answer it (and right away). And with smart phones becoming the norm these days, everything is literally available at the fingertips.
I am considered a dinosaur and snubbed by many a smart phone user, sneers directed at me as the user raises their phone in my general vicinity but the gaze unable to lose the attention of whatever vital information is being viewed on said phone. Yes, I am a flip phone user.
“But how do you text?” you might be asking. Many do. My children scoff at me and condescendingly offer their text secretary services to me on a regular basis.
It’s not a disease if you can’t whip off a text message in two seconds. I manage. But my text messages are not immediate responses. My wife or my daughter often send me two or three texts while I am attempting one reply.
Wut r u doing r u thr I rlly nd u to pck up some hair stuf for me now
The church I attend has even joined the instant age. No longer is it necessary to write a check or pull some cash out to place in the offering plate or bag as it is passed by the ushers. Noooooooo. Scan your cell phone as you come in or use the offering app from the church website. Offering time during the church service is beginning to resemble a rock concert (my church has been a rocking church for some time), cell phones lighting up all over the auditorium, a mix of old and new fashion as the offering bags are passed amongst glowing smart phones.
I wonder where this is all heading. Marriage by internet? I actually like that idea. The ceremony could not have gotten over fast enough in my humble male opinion. Yes, there is such a thing as a humble male. What will my children be telling their children?
Before delivery drones we actually had to walk into a place called a “store”, pick up the thing we wanted to buy, carry it to a place called a checkout cash register, pay for it with something called “money”, and carry it in a bag into our house.