This morning, on the way to work, I noticed that the signs warning you that a lane was about to become exit only said “Thru traffic merge left”. When I was younger, you were expected to understand that this lane was becoming an exit only lane (usually thanks to the short dashed white lines, or overhead signs) and move over if you weren’t exiting. Now they tell you explicitly. You’re not required to think.
When did we need to be told the obvious? Is the world moving too fast for us to keep up? If that’s the case, why don’t we slow down?
There’s information coming at us from a huge number of directions. Just at work, I monitor email, 11 different chat channels, phone calls, text messages and private conversations … all to get the bits and pieces I need to put into a whole picture. And that doesn’t count the meetings. That’s a lot of information to process. My job is a lot about communication and managing information, I’m trained to do it, and I’m good at it. But what about people who aren’t? Even in our daily non-work lives, we get hit with texts, facebook, twitter, google+, and whatever other social networks you’re on … even when you’re not at home! There’s so much information coming in that there’s no time to think. We just react.
Sometimes we forget to take a break, to remind ourselves that it’s okay to just take some time and think.