This question is inspired by some of the feedback we got to last week’s question How Can You Help? Several people commented on how busy they are, and how time spent thinking about our questions and/or composing a thoughtful response is time that is taken away from other activities.
This is certainly a valid point. But it brings to mind another question: Why are we so busy? Over the last century or so, a growing number of devices have been introduced into our society that are supposedly “labor-saving” devices, like the electric vacuum cleaner or the automated dishwasher. But as we have access to more and more of these labor-saving devices, what is happening to all the hours the supposedly being saved?
Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘Are we too busy?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’
Moreover, the Internet, and our ability to communicate much more easily with people all around the world, has shortened the day. 24-hour news channels have increased the amount of news available to us, while providing less and less time to process and make sense of that information.
But it may be possible to become accustomed to a world swamped with information and expectations. Our brains may be flexible enough to adapt to whatever demands our modern world places upon them.
So which is it? Are we too busy? Or are we just busy enough? Can we handle even more? If we are too busy, what can we do about it?