Thank you for being... late⌚️

Friends who have known me for years would laugh at this title. I'm the kind of person who would be saying 'yes I'm on my way!!' when I'm just getting out of bed. 😂👻

It’s always difficult to write something that isn’t (immediately) related to myself. In my past 6 months of blogging, the easiest blogs are the ones about my own experience, because nobody can judge whether I'm right or wrong. Then there are the ones which involves facts & information, because I need to cross-check facts, and organize them in a sensible order in a way that people will be interested in. The most difficult ones are about opinions, because people has a right to disagree. As long as you're putting yourself out there, you're risking judgments & criticisms.


Anyway, let's skip the BS and here we go!!👻

Thank you for being late is the  title of a book by Thomas Friedman . It's a book that I haven't finished.... The following article is inspired by Friedman's contrast between how fast digital acceleration has been and will be  vs  the word 'late' in the title. 

Thank you for being late is the title of a book by Thomas Friedman. It's a book that I haven't finished.... The following article is inspired by Friedman's contrast between how fast digital acceleration has been and will be vs the word 'late' in the title. 


Why are we so obsessed with speed?

Does doing things fast mean doing things right? (cue inspo from Homo Deus) Technology gives us ever greater power, and helps us do things faster, but it doesn’t guarantee that we do the right things faster. One reason why Black Mirror is so intriguing is because it ditched all the talks about how technology gets so advanced, but instead how humans interact with such technology advancement. 

Are we giving humanity more time by making things run faster? In some sense, I feel we are even spending more time to search for the truth (with that much information). How about people feeling absolutely overwhelmed by the speed of life, feeling stressed, frustrate & helpless, and decided to take a step back and live a slower life (that's me 🙋!)... So what’s happening?

I say, there is an equilibrium on how fast we need to live in order to be sane & happy.

I think human civilization always hit an 'equilibrium' in speed. (Now my 'equilibrium' here isn't some kind of mathematical or scientific notion, bear with me, I am not that academic 👵 .) Some of the geniuses out there are living ahead of our times, while some others like me can’t take it anymore and choose to slow down and take a step back. The recent “slow living” movement is kind of an evidence. There ain’t no “slow living” campaigns back in 1960s! Everybody wants to be quick, ‘hush hush it’s already tomorrow in Hong Kong!’* and now with everybody being quick, some people want to be slow.

*Drawing inspo from my recent fav movie Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong. ♥️


But No, we don’t have more time.

And we are still the same as what we are like, 100 years ago.

Yes, technology might help us 'expand' time (by doing things faster), such as I can have more processing power with a computer, more manpower with the ability to remotely control machines to do things simultaneously, but evolution doesn’t equip us with a 48-hour day, a faster metabolism, faster emotional recovery, faster brain power, faster social bonding with others.

Our physical body and mental capacity HAS NOT kept up with the light-speed of information explosion & technological advancement. Maybe that's why we feel constantly rushed and overwhelmed?

It still takes the same time for us to feel happy/sad/ashamed, to digest food, to sleep, to bond with another human being, for our skin to absorb things. And we still only have 1 brain, 2 arms, 2 legs. We only have 1 heart, our arteries are pretty much similar to what humans had 50 years ago. We still have a physical boundary to how much we can do. Yet our lives have become so much more busy, and we are bombarded with so much stimulation, that it’s not difficult to understand why we constantly feel overwhelmed.

That we're capable of doing many things (quickly!) somehow made us forget what we actually need in order to survive. That we can’t fill emotional emptiness with technology, that we can’t fill our stomach with digital numbers, that we can’t fill our innate preference of music with meaningless beeping sound or white noise, that we can’t fill our desire of bonding with people we love with virtual social media 'friends'. That we can’t survive without drinking water, breathing oxygen, and breathing out carbon dioxide. In this sense, it seems our relationship with ourselves and the environment hasn’t changed much since civilization started.


We don't want to do the *wrong* things fast.

Yes, the digital world is real (and is happening at full speed), but so is our actual physical world. It's exactly because things can be done so quickly that sometimes we need more time, more introspection to evaluate what we are doing. We don't want to do the wrong things fast. Our needs haven’t changed much since our parents or grandparents. That we are busy and have other priorities in life doesn't mean we can afford to do wrong to our body, emotions, and the environment. I urge everyone to take the time to live the actual world, to take the time to consider the food we put in our mouth, the energy we surround ourselves with, and the impact we create on the environment.

In other words, thank you for being late.