There's a lot more to life than accelerating its pace, but you wouldn't know it judging by the everyday behavior of most folks lately. People have become so hopelessly dependent on smart phones, computer tablets and the like, that they can't go for more than a few minutes without texting, checking their messages or looking something up online, however trivial.
I first recognized this phenomenon a few years ago when I was invited to a friend's house for Passover. During the Seder, while his family and friends were taking turns reading from the holy Haggadah, he was secretly texting away under the table. Despite being contrite and embarrassed when I pointed out to everybody that our host was ignoring the sacred ritual, he was right back at it less than five minutes later.
Back then, I had no words for such behavior besides rudeness, but thanks to Dr. Stephanie Brown we now have a diagnosis of addiction to speed. In her groundbreaking book, "Speed: Facing Our Addiction to Fast and Faster – and Overcoming Our Fear of Slowing Down," she bemoans the fact that the culture has morphed into a ramped-up dystopia where machines lead and humans follow.
- Written by Kam Williams