Patience Through the Ages

Myself and Meg have decided to team up for our project.

Our research aims to focus on patience levels in individuals and how they have been affected through different generations due to technological advances. In the age of technology, as members of generation Y both of us agree that patience within our generation and younger somewhat lacks.  We expect our wants and needs to be fulfilled straight away, compared to older generations who were not exposed to instantaneous information provided by technology. ‘There isn’t enough hours in day’, a classic saying which is relevant when looking at why patience may be missing. Is it because there is so much on offer that we are overloaded with an overwhelming abundance of information? And we feel we need to do a million things at once. We decided on this topic after we noticed the decline in patience through observation of younger siblings. As we observed their behaviours we reflected on our own childhoods, class discussion lead to the two of us working together on this project.  Therefore the question we are posing is ‘How has people’s levels of patience changed with the introduction of technology? How is this reflected throughout different generations and the way in which they demonstrate patience?’

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Our initial research into the studies of patience led us to find the book ‘Wait; The Art of Procrastination’ by Frank Partnoy, published in 2012. He focuses his research on the human process of decision-making, of which patience plays a large part; this makes it a very recent and relevant source of information for our topic.  He states in his book “Technology is making us act instantly and make instant decisions.” And further notes that “children who delay their reactions end up ‘happier, more successful, superior at building social skills, feeling empathy and resolving conflicts”. He observes that this instant decision-making process is because of a lack of patience in deliberation resulting in people often choosing things for the wrong reasons. This could have adverse consequences on society due to future generations being unable to employ the necessary attributes to effectively socialise in society.  Partnoy also makes the important point of how the current technological age has formulated the constant notion that people do not have enough time. This can be seen in everyday examples such as lack of patience waiting for buses, lines, supermarkets and restaurants. As you can see Partnoy’s study will have a significant contribution to our research project and helps outline interesting points of our topic and why it’s worth researching.
In order to be able to answer our question we must undertake our own primary research. Firstly we will gain more secondary information to help create a framework for our project. Once we have gathered the necessary sources to help us we will be able to begin gathering our own information. This will be done in several ways. One of the components will be a survey, distributed through survey monkey and posted via our own personal social media sites. This will enable us to get multiple perspectives from various age groups to ensure legitimacy in our research. Our questions will be devised in a comprehensible and simplistic manner to ensure people understand from all age groups. The second aspect of our research will be a series of interviews. These will be conducted with people from different age brackets to see the generational differences between people and their relationship with technology. Our plan is to focus on a 60-year spectrum. This will mean we will interview an individual within each of the following age brackets; 10-20, 20-30, 30-40, 40-50 and 50-60.

By choosing to work together we both need to maintain communication throughout the project to ensure we are both on the right track. Together, we have already established a Facebook chat, which allows us to send links and documents to one another, related to our research. Once a week, outside of class time, we have agreed to meet up to put together our project, talk about any issues and conduct the research. This means that it becomes a smooth process and our research will develop through weekly progression ultimately resulting in our final project.

For us to achieve our goal we need to keep organised. Our next step is to formulate a good series of questions for our interviews and surveys to ensure we have the right questions that will produce answers relating to what we are trying to understand. During this process we also must be respectful during the interview process be aware of our own biases.

By ensuring we follow this outline we will be able to arrive at a conclusion that has included all the components discussed above.


Here is a link to Meg’s blog if you want more info; 


2 thoughts on “Patience Through the Ages

  1. krysd

    I love this topic! It’s such an interesting topic. You may have difficulty around defining what patience is, or what it is as you are speaking of it. You may want to use an example such as which probably has datable data available that can demonstrate click rates and viewing duration with a degree of accuracy. I found one article Youtube traffic content analysis in the perspective of clip category and duration that may be of assistance.

    Have Fun!

  2. georgianelson1

    This is a really interesting topic, and I think one that is important to discuss in today’s society as there could potentially be negative impacts of impatience – especially in professional environments.
    Here is an interesting news article that gives a good overview of your topic, and covers some of the reasons for this impatience among our generation:


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