"Is Faster Always Better?"
This is a question that I think a lot of people really need to sit down and think about. We are bombarded with messages throughout our society that faster is always better, which can include a wide variety of things. But is that really the case? Is faster always better, or were we better off before we had so much instant technology?
Advertisements bombard our minds today. Your already high-speed internet connection isn't fast enough and you need this one that's even faster. You need a new cell phone that can do more things and do them more quickly than the one you have now. E-mail isn't fast enough anymore; you need to be on Twitter. Basic TV isn't good enough; you need instant access to all your favorite movies on demand. The list goes on and on. Advertisers know how to convince people that they need the latest gadget and many people are easily convinced of that. Are you one of them?
You may be asking, "But why is this a bad thing?" There are multiple answers. Primarily, I believe, it's a bad thing because we have created a society in which everything needs to be instant, which is very unhealthy for us all. In turn, we have an created an epidemic of impatience.
Let's rewind a few decades...before the internet, cell phones, and all the latest gadgets were invented. Were all families just like the Cleavers ("Leave it to Beaver")? Of course not. But I do think that people showed much more respect toward one another, and it's because most of their priorities were still in the right places.
Next, let's take a quick journey into my life. I have updated my website every single day (with just a small handful of exceptions) since 2001 and I've stayed on top of each one of the limited number of winter storms we've had since then. What kind of technology do you think I have in order to do everything I do online? Think about it for a moment and take a guess before I give you the answer.
So...what is the answer? I have no cell phone (except a cheap prepaid Tracfone that stays in my car for emergencies) and a dial-up internet service. Why? Because I don't need anything more than that, and neither do most other people, even though advertisements will desperately try to convince you otherwise. Beyond that, I am taking a personal stand against our "instant" society in my own life, and I also can't justify the additional expense, especially when a good portion of the people in this world don't even know where their next meal is coming from (which is something I will cover in much more detail in my article "To Whom Does Your Money Belong?").
Now let's return to the question, "But why is this a bad thing?" People are more impatient than ever. Some drive recklessly in order to reach their destination, at best, a few minutes sooner, when it would've taken a person hours or days to travel the same distance 100 years ago. Others have a hard time waiting a few seconds for a webpage to load to find information that would have only been available from the library a couple of deacdes ago. Some people have bought into the hype that they need instant access to everything all the time, and it just simply is not true. If it were, how did people survive in the past?
The Northeastern part of the United States, home to many of our largest cities and an extremely fast-paced lifestyle, is the very same region in which Christianity is dying out the quickest. Is that a coincidence? I don't think so. Faster, "better" technology robs so many people of both time and money and it also causes priorities to get out of order. The faster things get, the more people become consumed by this world and the less time they spend with God. Is that really the direction in which we want our world to go? Let's slow down and actually enjoy life instead of letting ourselves be consumed by it. Let's escape from this world more often and spend some quiet, relaxing, peaceful time with God instead.