On a perfectly normal bus journey, on a regular day in London, a thought occurred. For the past two days, I had made my way in on the tube, a journey completed in a darkened, subterranean world. The supply of light, air and assorted visual stimuli journeying on the bus was comparatively gratuitous.
And yet I felt frustrated, anxious, jittery. It was too slow, almost unbearably arduous, and uncomfortably stop-start in its movement.
As the bus moved ponderously around another corner, I realised why. As I sat there, my time was wasting away, time I knew that I could spend in a thousand different ways, however I wished. The word displayed across the front of the building opposite read: ‘rapidity’. Speed. Time.
I was unwilling to accommodate anything in my day that was slower than the fastest possible option. Time takes the lead, at the cost of comfort, interest, and even cost. I couldn’t bear to sit for an hour, knowing that I could get there in less than half the time propelled underground in a metal cylinder.
As an aspiring journalist, this hit me quite profoundly. If I couldn’t stand any degree of delay in getting around, how could I permit it in that most valuable of commodities, my information? Why should anyone choose to wait for more refined accuracy and better quality information in basic news when a satisfactory product that does the job is available almost instantaneously?