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'Instant Everything' Has Turned Us Into Jerks

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"Everything is amazing and nobody is happy," comedian Louis CK famously opined during an appearance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. "This is what people are like now, they've got their phone, and they're like, 'Uhhhh, it won't-' GIVE IT A SECOND! It's going to space. Can you give it a second to get back from space? Is the speed of light too slow for you?"

The clip, with over five and a half million views, clearly connected with an audience which could shamefully relate. It wasn't too long ago that we recalled -- or were horrifically subjected to -- dial-up internet speeds and thought, "How in the world did we live like this?" Now, in 2012, put someone on a 5Mbps connection and they'll make a hasty beeline to the router to see what's broken.

Even Apple's (AAPL) celebrated iPhone line -- which many would argue is the best in the industry -- has its detractors for not supporting true 4G networking speeds like its Android (GOOG) brethren. Of course, we know how Louis CK would react to that.

With Google in everyone's pocket, jokes fellow comedian Pete Holmes in his Comedy Central special, instant searches have rendered mystery obsolete. "The time between not knowing and knowing is so brief that knowing feels like not knowing. Listen to me: There was a time when if you didn't know where Tom Petty was from, you just didn't know."

And the interminable wait between a TV show's air date and its streaming availability was addressed in a recent Oatmeal webcomic. Despite access to Netflix (NFLX), Hulu Plus, iTunes, and Amazon's (AMZN) streaming, the character found that HBO (TWX) hit Game of Thrones wouldn't be accessible for weeks, if not months. So, he turns to the quickest, easiest, least legal option (piracy) and feeds his impatient urge unabated.

Unfortunately, this type of behavior doesn't just hurt faceless corporations. Being wholly reliant on "instant everything" has affected how we treat one another. According to an infographic by, one in five people have admitted to being rude to someone serving them "too slowly." Our dependence on the immediate also ruins our health as 72% of Americans eat fast food at least once a week. And forming lasting relationships through unhurried discovery and interaction is rendered moot when millions rely on speed dating to find their soul mate.

With faster processors, instant searches, and immediate downloads, patience has become a dying institution. We can no longer take a breath and allow a break in our lives. There's always something more important we need to rush to and-... Aw, hell...


(See also: Apple's New iPad Also Has Wi-Fi Problems? and AT&T Falsely 'Upgrades' iPhone 4S to 4G)
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