The September/October issue of Psychology Today, an article by Hara Estroff Marano cites a Toronto study that showed even incidental exposure to fast food symbols makes people feel time-stressed and impatient. It speeds up the rate at which we read, and it makes us impatient about financial decisions. We even want to relax faster. The fast food symbols give us a sense of urgency that makes us think that time is speeding up and we’d better hurry if we want to keep up.
How about that? Do you think McDonald’s et al intended to create this driving sense of urgency? I doubt it. I think we did it to ourselves. We seem incapable of just relaxing any more.