Unnecessary Urgency

We all want to get ahead, be first. But with more speed comes more stress. This mentality can even turn friends into antagonists.

Unassigned seating produces a game of Darwin’s “Survival of the Fittest.” Every passenger is protective of their seat because of the intense work it takes to find one. Every second of hesitation counts.

Seating is just step one in the process of urgency. People then pull out their phones and melt into their own worlds. Now they want to be first online; the first to like or comment on a Instagram post, the first to tweet breaking news.

The rapid pace of the Internet makes passengers even more tight and agitated. Even the slightest foot or elbow into someone’s pathway ignites hatred: “This is my space. Step back.”

The fear of missing out (Fomo) makes people mean. It makes train passengers compete for seat; it makes Internet users compete over engagement.

Take a step back. Maybe even just stand and turn the phone off, getting away from all the noise and unnecessary jealousy and rage.

You can try to get ahead but it’s really not saving you that much time, nor does being first make a significant impact on your life or anyone else’s; it’s just selfish. Wind down, relax.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.