Culture / Random Musings

Fast, But At What Cost?

We live in an immediate society whereby in order to stay relevant, you need to be FAST. As a writer, there is always the challenge in trying to deliver a post that is frequent and relevant to the current affairs that are happening in order for the readers to continue reading the blog. Whilst doing so, there is always the risk in compromising the quality of the post in order to ensure that you are fresh and engaging. One of the posts at LRQ that had to be  submitted on a tight deadline,  was compromised as the word count was slightly lower than our previous offerings as well as the piece lacking the bite that it usually have. This was actually spotted by one of our followers on twitter who remarked on the post being of a lower standard than usual. This of course made the writer blush!

A not so great tweet from one of our followers!

However, we see this sort of compromise happening all the time. Artists spewing out haphazard albums every year just to make sure that they remain on the lips of the masses. We already have sequels to movies that needn’t be coming out anytime soon as we have yet to fully appreciate the beauty of the first instalment. How many times have we heard about electrical products being re-called, which most times is because the product was rushed to ensure that the product is in line with the latest consumer trends.
The biggest cause for this instantaneous culture is technology. Processors have now been built to deliver things much faster; we can now read time to the nearest atto second (that’s 0.000000000000000001 second). When we make a download, be it music, video, or any other online content; we expect the download to be complete within minutes as opposed to hours. We sigh and roll ours to the heavens when for whatever reason it takes longer than expected for the download to be completed.

It not even the quality of what is being produced that is now being compromised, but also our quality of living, especially in the West. This instantaneous culture that we have means that we process information a lot faster, have faster response rates that means that we are living in the fast lane. What would take days, if not weeks to deliver a letter in the 1990’s takes seconds now. This maybe great in most cases, however for the same number of hours that we work a day means we are doing more labour compared to what we did a decade ago. Ironically, given that we are doing more for the hour, we are actually spending much more time at work. So longer hours, working up to twice as hard, for a long duration of our lives has detriments to our health and overall well-being. Even socially, we are seeing the negative effects of having everything delivered to us fast. We are slowly seeing the virtue of patience being eroded from society. Authors are making millions from writing about short cuts to achieving desired goals such as becoming rich or losing weight. If we do not see the expected results as quick as what we would like, we are more compelled to feel despondent and give up.This affects us emotionally and this can go as far as people feeling depressed as a result of it.

The way in which we consume news has changed courtesy of the likes of Google and Twitter. Once upon a time, we would all used to sit round the TV listening to news announcements on the BBC. Now we can see the news unfold in real-time, such as the Arab Spring for example. Having the luxury of real-time news has made us information junkies. If we are not in the know about things, we feel left out. People, can’t go a day without their phones as it is the portal that holds their Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and any other website that can allow us access to current information. Though trying to network with your online peers can indeed leave you socially inept in the real world as etiquette such as not using your phone at the dinner table is being devalued in order to keep up with the virtual world.

Google one of the main reasons for real-time news

Advancing in technology has indeed made our lives much easier, we can diagnose illnesses quicker which can save lives, we can avert life threatening crisis thanks to technology. However, this advancement can negate a society both economically and socially. As mentioned above, something as simple as uploading a post can be compromised based on the need to be quick. Also we have seen companies feeling the heat of the quick turnover cycle as they need to bring out the latest models to stave off the competitors. There will come a time though when we need to slow down in order for us to catch our breath and reflect. The speed in which are living our lives is at 1,000 mph. The wants, the so-called needs are leaving us broke, socially bankrupt and miserable. People talk about the economic recession that is making life difficult for most people, well this is something that carries a lot more weight and needs to be addressed.

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5 thoughts on “Fast, But At What Cost?

  1. Exactly how I feel. I want to be a writer and I am planning on majoring in Journalism. I really have to take this into consideration and make sure my content is sound and the has best quality I can get out of it.

    • Hi Jonathan, it is hard trying to deliver quality content at a fast speed! However I believe that good writing will always trump high frequency gibberish. Keep on the writing, I’m sure you will find the right balance :)

  2. Hi- we had this discussion some time ago with another blogger. Regarding writing only, I do actually believe it is important to keep on writing, and do not let yourself be hampered *too much* by your self-judgement on the quality of your work. The body of your work will create a platform, which will then give rise to better- or worse- works. All artists have work of very uneven quality (look at Shakespeare- for an obvious example), however, you need to create that context for yourself in which you can produce the works of better quality.

    I am not explaining this very well- I’ll be putting out a post on this topic soon where hopefully I’ll be clearer!

    • Hi there! Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it and I concur with everything you say. I think it is discipline to pace yourself and not yield to the pressures of the environment around you to force you to rush your work. I guess it is ony natural to be self critical about your work as it is a form of self improvemnet. I am looking forward to your post about this :)

  3. Pingback: Internet Anonymous « Low Radio FreQ

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