Living In The Fast Lane

Have you ever heard of Microwave Mentality? It’s the mindset that everything should be instant and be able to be completed as quickly as possible.

Microwave mentality
And I want it all!

Have you ever considered how pervasive this microwave mentality is in our modern day culture?

Feel hungry? Fast food. Instant noodles.

Feeling sick? Pop some pills for instant relief. 

Need to talk? Send a message. 

Need money? Credit card. Bank loan. 

Going somewhere? Super fast Uber. 

Need to finish that assignment? Copy + Paste. 

And why am I painting it in a negative light? It is indeed wonderful that we’ve come this far and technology has allowed us the luxury of not having to spend a good 15 minutes waiting for the water to boil.

I’m not saying this instant culture is bad; I too am guilty of subscribing to this way of thinking and way of life. I want results and I want them last century! I’m simply considering the effects this has on our way of life.

Perhaps we no longer take the time and care to carefully brush our teeth, or to make our beds, or to stop and smell the roses.

You may not think the microwave mentality has affected you, but its effects are subtle and subliminal. It slowly influences the way in which you do everything.

Put it this way: our modern culture has become so good at optimising our protocol and minimising the time it takes to carry out tasks, that we’ve taken it from our work and applied it to the rest of our lives. We are operating at our maximum efficiency!

Maximum efficiency!

And is that a bad thing? When you’re blood pressure goes up, yeah! When you’re stuck in traffic and you’re pounding your steering wheel and cursing at the lights because you have to spend another 5 minutes in this air-conditioned box.

So we take our meds when we get the sniffles, and drive down the block to save us walking. We gain time, but do we lose out on character? We let machines do the work for us so we don’t have to – does that make us any smarter or stronger?

It’s been said that anything that is worth having takes time. The first question you’ll probably ask is “how much time?” I guess that depends what you’re after.

You can’t really master a musical instrument in 5 minutes; you can’t get sick gains (beefy muscles, for those that don’t lift) simply by chugging protein shakes every meal; you can’t win a race without preparing and training for it (unless all your rivals also don’t train for it); you can’t have a real relationship by just sending single smileys over the phone.

Is the microwave mentality hurting us? Are we better and closer as a society now that we have WhatsApp? Are we more adept at the ways of the world? Are we really getting things done faster? And at what price?

Don’t forget to take your time with the things that you care about and love. The clock only ticks one way for us all.

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