TV commercials for phones tout speed, with those owning the phones giving others pitying looks as they say, "That's so four seconds ago." I want to scream at my set, "So what?"
I call to order a pizza, and the phone is answered with what sounds like one long word. It takes me a few seconds to realize I've been both welcomed and asked for my order.
Once, when I asked a fast talker to slow down, she gave a withering look and said, "I'm not a fast talker. People are just slow listeners."
I read recently that the Journal of Consumer Research will be publishing an article by Jeff Galak, Justin Kruger and George Loewenstein: "Slow Down! Insensitivity to Rate of Consumption Leads to Avoidable Satiation." Their study, which dealt with people eating Hershey's Kisses either fast or slowly, and with different break lengths for video gamers, concludes that "people rush through experiences because they don't realize that slowing down consumption leads to more pleasure."
In other words, if you want that last Kiss to taste as good as the first, take your time eating them. If you want to keep enjoying the game, wait longer before you hit the "play again" button.
This is not exactly earth-shattering news. So why do we tend to forget it so easily?
Speed can be fun, exhilarating. But the rush of a rush takes something away from our appreciation of life's normal pace. I'm as guilty as anyone of trying to "get through" things, not realizing that even the unpleasant stuff - housework, proofreading, presenting my bags to Turks and Caicos Customs - can give me the pleasure of insights and maybe a few more stories to tell.
I'm going to try not only living in the moment, but also making those moments last.