“Instant America” and Our Waning Patience for Everything

With fast Internet access available on not just computers, but phones, tablets, and various other devices, we’ve grown accustomed to being able to access information almost in the same moment a question or request forms in our minds.

Looking at how that has affected the ways we act both online and in the physical world is an interesting question, and OnlineGraduatePrograms has produced an infographic that explores it.

Among the findings is that Google handles 3 billion searches per day (that's 34,000 questions per second), but that if we don't find what we want immediately, we often bail; even if the results take 4/10ths of a second more to show, that will cut the number of searches on Google by 8 million per day. Perhaps the most obvious yet telling finding is that many of us simply will not wait for a website that takes longer than a few seconds to load before moving on to something else. Half of us will give a mobile page 10 seconds to load before bailing.

This total lack of patience to access what we want spills over in the real world, too. The stats below note that many of us won't wait in any line longer than 15 minutes, would no longer patronize a business that made us wait, and would even stoop to being rude to someone who provides a service too slowly. (Wait, or is it the slow server that's being rude?)

Do you see yourself in these statistics? Ten years ago, would you have? (And why, pray tell, must the red-bearded fellow be the disgruntled one? We're often very happy people.)