An interesting piece of research by broadband provider Talk Talk has revealed that due to high speed internet access, we’ve become a highly impatient nation with 70% of us “losing it” if we have to wait any longer than one minute for a page to load.
And this somewhat inflated level of impatience is also apparent in the offline world where in a restaurant, we’ll demand our meal after just eight minutes and 38 seconds, we’ll wait only 10 minutes and 43 seconds for a tradesman to show up and we’ll allow 10 minutes and 1 second for a friend before we burst with annoyance.
It’s clear that patience, once a Great British trait, is slowly wearing away as we embrace an era of high speed internet activity and that’s not just down to the advent of broadband. Twitter, for example, offers a unique feed of real-time conversation and sentiment with news being delivered faster than any other medium, providing us with an immediate global sense of events.
And gone are the days when journalists conducted a quick vox pop to gauge opinion, now they simply use the Twitter crowd as a source of immediate information and push out headlines and blogposts to Twitter via RSS and TwitterFeed.com.
A recent fault with Virgin Media which left many customers without TV and broadband, displayed not only consumer impatience (understandably) but infuriation at the fact that Virgin had not considered using Twitter to inform their customers of the problem, regardless of the fact that a number of people were tweeting about Virgin’s service issues which suggested a major outrage was brewing.
Clearly a massive oversight from Virgin and one which other service providers should take note of. Twitter is a critical vehicle for communicating information, instantly, and could quite easily have dampened the fire that was raging amongst its tweeting customers.
It’s clear we want speed. We thrive on being the first to know and unsurprisingly, it’s the 18-24 year olds who are least prepared to wait, which questions just how impatient future generations will be.
Public transport operators, call centre workers…. you have been warned.