I’m not making a bold statement here – People hate waiting! The aggravation, the frustration, and the annoyance of waiting are written all over peoples’ faces. We do a lot of waiting, some of it justified and some of it not. We wait in line for groceries. We wait in line to see the latest movie release. We wait in line to buy a birthday present for a party we really don’t want to attend. We wait in line for the latest cell phone. The line for the ATM can seem infinitely long on a Friday evening. We all know about waiting in the doctor’s office. I could go on for another three paragraphs about what we wait for.
Waiting has never bothered me much. I find waiting as an opportunity to observe people, observe behavior, and observe the culture around me. Recently, I was waiting for a tire rotation to be completed on my car. Knowing that I was in for a one to two hour wait, I had come prepared and brought my Amazon Kindle. I sat down in the waiting room with my observation eyes open. The man next to me was sipping on what smelled to be stale coffee with artificial sugar. He was reading the local section of the newspaper. He politely said “Good Morning” and I returned the acknowledgement. The man sitting about ten feet away from him was reading a library book. It was rugged, green, and had seen better days. He didn’t bother to lift his head from his readings.
So in this moment, we have three different methods of content distribution, three different individuals, and different preferred formats of media. Many of us believe that content in book or newspaper form is antiquated, old fashion, or “so 2002.” Newspapers, library books, and Kindles have their place in modern society, despite popular belief. Newspapers continue to provide great quality reporting on the local, state, and federal levels of government. The industry continues to be the go to source for community events, news, and issues. Libraries, despite the financial gutting that has taken place over the past three years, continue to be a resource for children, families, and community members. Libraries provide a sense of history that we so often lose in today’s fast paced society. Moreover, libraries possess a healthy learning environment that is so crucial for the development of children and the strength of public education. The Kindle provides a vast array of books and magazines to your fingertips within seconds. The ability to access biographies, science fiction works, and mystery novels has never been easier than it is with the mobile devices.
I found that, in this moment, I was experiencing the progression of technology that we so take for granted today. Authors, poets, and novelists have been around for centuries. The newspaper industry dates back to the early 1600s. The arrival of the printing press and the advancements in transportation logistics allowed newspapers to become a major contributing factor to the beginning of the American Revolution against the British. These events don’t happen without technological innovation and human creativity. The Kindle is a true example of technological creativity and advancements.
So, the next time you are waiting in line, do yourself a favor and begin observing the world around you. You may be surprised as to what’s around you. You may be surprised to find how much technology is around that you have never considered to be influencing your life. Turn the waiting game into something other than stress, anxiety, and frustration.