Change Of Plans: How Technology Has Sparked A Plague Of “Last Minute” Syndrome

by • November 9, 2013 • Psychology, Society, TechnologyComments (0)3871

If someone tells me to meet them at 7:00pm at a restaurant I will do everything in my power to walk through the door, not at 7:01pm, not at 6:59pm — no, I will make it my life mission to enter at precisely 7pm.  I’ve been like this my whole life because I’m one of those rare individuals who gets a kick out of showing up exactly when I said I would.  But in recent years I have noticed a change in myself.  Increasingly, I tend to make changes to these kinds of plans at the last minute, and I also tend not to obsess too much any more about arriving to a meeting/dinner/party precisely on time.  In a fascinating new piece written for Psychology Today, Nancy Colier explains how this change I’ve noticed in myself is not unique to me — it’s a side effect of technology.  And it’s precisely this technology that is fostering a huge new plague of bad behavior/etiquette known as “Last Minute” Syndrome (or as Colier describes it, “Last Minute-itis”).

The following is an excerpt from Colier’s article recently published by Psychology Today: “Technology has made bad behavior acceptable, and turned us into a society of disrespectful cads. It has created an environment where we treat other people, their time, and the time we spend with them as unimportant. Technology is training us to act on our whims and do what’s easiest—not necessarily what’s right. Our device gives us license to take the easy road and convinces us that we do not need to be disciplined or stick to our word. Technology has created the ultimate casual culture in which everything and everyone as casually disposable.”

There’s much more to the story and you can read it in full at  When you finish reading Colier’s piece which focuses on how bad behavior is bad, you might next want to read this post from last week where I do the exact opposite in condoning bad behavior/etiquette in one area in particular — that moment when you need to leave a party.  Find out what I mean here: “What’s The Best Way To Leave At A Party? Don’t Say Goodbye, Just Ghost It“.

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