Sorry, I would stop but I’m in a bit of a rush

I’m thinking very hard

About life before smartphones.

Sitting here in my time machine

Going back

To the age of Aquarius

And the analogue telephone

And calling the Operator.

Spinning back

To the Days

Before texts

Or the Internet.

Back to the so-called ‘simple life.’

But wait a minute.

Was it simple, or just way more protracted?

Funny how nostalgia romanticises things like fax machines and sitting at home for hours waiting for the phone to ring, isn’t it.

That said, everyone seems to be in a dreadful rush these days.

I’m consciously working on slowing down, de-contaminating my life from constant phone checking. The instant rush of pressing ‘publish’ on a blog post followed by a yearning for thick and fast ‘loves’ to keep that high fed can be agony. It takes its toll. Becomes painfully repetitive.

And let’s not forget all those polluted evenings and weekends in real life spent ‘just sending a quick reply’ to work colleagues.

I said I’m working on it.

But
I’m addicted
To the buzz
The immediacy
Fearful of missing out
On breaking news
About what you’re wearing today
Or just had for breakfast
Or the fact your baby just did a loud fart
And let’s not forget your daily running stats, you hot, sexy, fitness machine.

Uggh.

I’m pretty much too busy updating Twitter to notice, but it seems that I’m not alone in this perpetual state of rush.

In recent times at work, for example, we were coached in the art of not replying to client emails for a minimum of three hours after receipt of instruction.

The reason for doing this was two fold:

1) setting a slower expectation on turnaround time for the client; and

2) preventing us from just firing off any old shit that came to mind without thinking it all through properly.

There had been a spate of professional negligence claims created by emails being batted backwards and forwards at lightening speed.

The evolution of this crack pot office culture meant that priorities were skewed.

How fast the lawyer could play ping pong, irrespective of quality, was deemed to be infinitely more important to someone faced with a court order than the application of actual legal problem solving ability.

Until clients started going to jail.

Slowing things down a bit seems an obvious solution to better managing client expectations and outcomes. But it drove both sides bonkers. Illicit ping pong continued, whilst many others resorted to requesting straight jackets to prevent them re-offending.

Rushing is now the norm and therefore the pressure.

Needless to say, this go-slow policy died a death pretty quickly, as even the boss couldn’t resist the lure of instant messaging.

As it goes, I’m actually a big believer in going with gut instinct, but heaven forbid if we let our brains catch up.

I can’t really remember what thinking empty thoughts actually feels like. When the opportunity arises, I’m usually too annoyed about being in a signal black spot.

It’s just the way it is!

Heck, I’m even doing it now. Tapping away writing this post on my smartphone whilst sitting on the toilet.

I’m just so busy, dammit.

Yet we all know that a watched pot never boils, don’t we.

Can somebody please tell me where the finishing line in this race is?

It’s just that I’ve been running for a helluva long time and I’m starting to get pretty bloody tired.

Writing Bubble

[Image source: unknown]

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37 thoughts on “Sorry, I would stop but I’m in a bit of a rush

  1. You’re right Louis CK sums it up well. People driving while on the phone is one of my pet peeves. Then again, I usually have my phone turned off so it doesn’t bother me. If technology makes doing your work faster it doesn’t help the individual if it just means the addition of more work. Great topic as always! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Maverick! I guess I’m not sure that I hate technology that much all things considered. Yes, I always seem to be busy doing nothing on my phone, but I try to be creative with it (on justifying it to myself anyway). I do wonder what I did with all spare my time before. I was a student back then and so I was probably busy sleeping it off! 😉

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  2. Brilliant! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. I think the developments in communication technology have definitely made life easier and have eliminated stress in some areas of life. However, I don’t like being accessible all of the time – that way stress also lies – so I like to try and find a balance. I think your stepping back and waiting type of approach is perfect. I hope it helps you maintain some sort of equilibrium in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Laura! I hated being contactable 24/7 at the law firm as once you start replying at midnight once, you’re suddenly expected to be there all the time for clients and colleagues. I found this immensely stressful. Now I’m my own boss, it’s more fun but harder to find a reason to power down as, mainly, I’m super nosy!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s a crazy life isn’t it? I find that the only time I really slow down is when I’m around nature — at the beach or out hiking in the bush. It’s a good break from the daily rat race. Speaking of which, I saw this comic strip the other day which basically said, even if we do finish the rat race first, we are still rats! So, I’m not sure if there is ever a ‘win’ when we just go on and on and on and on…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. Loving the bleak sentiment of that comment. But it’s very true. I think accepting that life is struggle and struggle is life makes for a strangely more satisfying experience of it! Thanks for reading!

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  4. I think there’s a balance but I think it’s different for everyone. Some may have a higher tolerance than others. Of course, setting unrealistic expectations on others just because of what we are personally comfortable with can cause much anxiety for everyone. Hope you can find your own balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said Michelle. I’m amazed at how many of my colleagues don’t even question the expectations upon them to be available (essentially unpaid) day, night, weekend and holiday. Maybe not everyone needs this balance. Thanks for reading!

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  5. It’s hard not to get addicted to the immediacy of today’s technology but sometimes it’s all too much. I’ve consciously and unconsciously slowed down a bit. It’s nice to connect both virtually and literally. And it’s so true how me romanticize the past. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! Easy to put rose tinted glasses on when looking backwards. Interestingly my husband is pretty much the only person I know without a facebook account. I can tell he wants one but has moaned about them so much over the years, he can’t now back down. Even the hardiest of nay-Sayers’ resolves are cracking! Thanks for reading 😉

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  6. You know, I am so wiped out that I decided I would just hop across all the three grids today, read them all and vote for my top 3 and not leave a comment, because that takes more time. And then you go and write a post that resonates with me so deeply that I can’t help BUT leave a comment! WHY do you do this to me?

    I am completely with you on the whole ‘instant gratification’ thing that it weighs me down on most days. I see a message and if I don’t reply right away, I feel guilty. Guilty as hell. God, we have to learn to slow down!

    FYI, do not reply to this message for at least a day 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha! Sorry about that. It’s reassuring to hear you share the same feeling. A lot of comments advising disconnecting. It’s hard though, it’s very enjoyable but also wearing. Thanks so much for replying-I held off acknowledging for 36 hours which must be a record for me 😉

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  7. In the spirit of this post I didn’t respond when I read it yesterday (when I was about to start watching series 3 of The Bridge) but have left it until now. I have no idea if this will result in a better comment but hopefully no one will be imprisoned 😉 I’m not sure how I feel about smart phones: I love mine but I think I love it too much. I’m too addicted and it becomes like a reflex action to check for new alerts. It’s nice to feel connected but I do think it causes stress too. It kind of feels like we don’t have as much ‘down time’ as everyone expects responses and interaction at all hours. It does make us busier! I once had a self imposed FB ban for two weeks and I loved it. Hmmm maybe it’s time for another break! Thanks for linking to #whatImWriting

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    • A self imposed Facebook ban sounds great! Mind you. That would mean I would have time to binge on The Bridge, which is on my to do list! It’s love hate with all this social media but let’s try & look at the positives – we wouldn’t be talking without it 😉 thanks for reading X

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  8. I think smartphones have the potential to be really useful in so many situations – you always need to write a post in the loo, don’t you!? The problem that I have with them is that I end up checking every 30 seconds (well maybe not quite that frequently), but more because I lack focus in general than FOMO. And I’ll read emails/comments etc. and think, I don’t have time now, I’ll respond later when I probably do have time, just too many inputs, and they end up forgtten! Smartphones are like men really – can’t live with them, can’t live without them! #WhatImWriting

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  9. That’s hilarious that you’ve been told to deliberately slow down at work – my boss romanticises about the days when you’d send a letter, they’d have a think, they’d write a letter and you’d eventually get an answer about two weeks later but the pace of the legal world and everyone else seems to have got a bit manic since then. I can see why it’s giving rise to negligence cases though, it’s too easy to email without putting things through the proper quality that you’d do with a letter!

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    • I know. Seems nuts but actually it’s sensible to take a breath before replying to things – especially if contentious stuff. I lose count of the number of emails that I have written in a fit of rage and sat on it only to go back and wisely bin before sending! Taking a step back in all forms of writing is so important. Thanks for reading – have a great weekend x

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  10. Brilliant post – I feel like I have this battle with myself Every. Single. Day. And then end up giving in to the high octane world of social media. It is ridiculously addictive, and I’ve never been good with half-doing addictive things. A clean break would probably do it – but think about all the vitally important things that I’d miss out on!?! Hmmm…..

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    • Thanks Sophie. Maybe Maddy should suggest we all have a week off from SM and come back and see how we all feel. I would worry I would never come back after ridding decontaminated time from my life! Imagine the freedom! But…I would miss interacting with you lovely peeps way too much I think! Thanks for reading xx

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  11. Brilliant post. The pace of your writing really captures the spirit of that FOMO we have when it comes to social media – with which I have a bit of a love/hate relationship..! I have managed to limit the time I spend on it though, by turning off notifications and switching my phone to airplane mode when I go to bed! If I know where my husband and son are when I bed down for the night, everything else can wait. I can physically feel the difference when I make that switch, too…

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  12. Pingback: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 | Glasgowdragonfly's Blog

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