Everywhere you look, it seems like a change is taking place at an incredible rate and more often than not, it seems like change is speeding up our society. This is usually seen as a positive as it illustrates how humankind can progress in developing new technologies and processes. However, I think that there are some drawbacks to this constant movement forward in trying to speed up everything we do. The objective of this writing will be to demonstrate several examples of areas where we can see this change taking place. I’ll conclude by giving a few reasons to why this quickening may not always be a good thing.
In the business world, you can see this speeding up in areas such as automated phone calls, automated financial transactions & process re-engineering. All of these changes take place with the intention of creating faster & more efficient processes – for the ultimate goal of improving business profitability.
In Canadian healthcare, this change in pace is most evident in the reduction in allowable time that can be spent by a nurse when attending to a patient. This is a new trend as the hospital bed requirements are starting to lag behind the required amount of beds as the average age in Canada increases, placing a tremendous amount of stress on the healthcare system.
This advancement of speed is probably most apparent in the technology sector. When we look at cellphones or computers, they are continuously receiving faster processing units and quicker ways to access apps. If we look at internet, the download speeds have gotten significantly quicker over the last decade.
Even though most of this sounds very good, I do believe that there are several potential drawbacks to this constant speeding up of society. One potential danger is the chance that we might lose sight of the overall purpose to why these kinds of processes were important in the first place. Just think about when you are driving a car; the quicker you drive the car, the less you are able to see. Looking at the healthcare example, if the hospitals continue to speed up the overall process between nurse & patient, the nurse might start to lose sight of what their objective was in the first place as they begin to focus on the speed rather than the patient. Another potential issue that could come up is the loss of human interaction when faster and more automated processes get introduced. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not a fan of the new trend where the majority of a phone call towards a company is just a sequence of automated messages. Lastly, people’s expectation of speed in our current society has a tendency to lead people to become impatient a lot quicker than they would have otherwise. It’s almost like people are starting to become addicted to Speed – everywhere you look, people are constantly chasing it.
Photo credit goes to my good friend – James Gedak.