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Technology: High Gratification, Low Patience Essay

1885 words - 8 pages

Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that can have patience can have what he will”. But, is patience really necessary in today’s society? In recent years, the younger of us have grown up without the need for patience. We now live in a hyperconnected world we can process data, download a song, search a vast database for virtually unlimited information, send a message, or even order pizza, all with the click of a button. We constantly thirst for better, faster, and easier technology to help us keep up with our lives. To what effect does this have on patience in society as a whole though? Perhaps man’s endless thirst for instant gratification has constantly fueled the improving of technologies over the years, and thus, has caused our patience and attention span to diminish.
Computer hardware has seen one of the biggest leaps within the past twenty years. We are constantly coming out with faster, more powerful, more reliable computer processors with no plateau to improvement in sight.The recent Intel i7-4770k of 2013 can process information nearly eight times faster than the Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 of 2008 according to cpubenchmark.net. Recent solid state drives have also trumped traditional hard drives by replacing the spinning platter with solid bricks of data, much like a glorified flash drive. For example, the average boot time of Windows 7 on the Boot Time of the Samsung Spinpoint F3 HDD is about forty-two seconds. The average Windows 7 Boot Time of the Crucial M4 SSD is nearly halved in comparison, clocking in at about twenty-two seconds. To some accustomed to the newer faster SSD, the older HDD drives may feel like it takes an eternity to boot up.Dana Levin, a student at Drexel University College of Medicine, comments on the subject, “The biggest consequence I foresee is an expectation of immediacy and decreased patience among people”.
The internet has become a large part of households and our daily lives, so much that many of us today cannot possibly imagine it not existing, even for a couple weeks, days, or even hours. Around 1998, 56k modems became a pivot point bringing the World Wide Web to a greater majority of homes in the United States. These modems were capable of transferring data at around 56kbps, or 0.056mbps. That is roughly 1/155th of the average speed of today’s household internet speed of 8.7mbps according to the latest State of the Internet report by Akamai Technologies. At those speeds, it would take around twelve minutes to download an average five megabyte song in 1998 whereas today it would take roughly five seconds in the average household today. According to an article by Steve Lohr in The New York Times, in the 1990s, when the World Wide Web was becoming popular, it was so slow and crowed that it became dubbed as the world wide wait. People were willing to wait great deals of time just for a single page to load though. In modern days, Google engineers did a study and found if users are forced to wait more than four...

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