American Time Essay
If I had to point to the one thing that reveals the most about American culture, I would have to say it is our obsession with time. We seem to have this constant fear of “wasting” time. Our lives are saturated with ways to “save” time. We see it in our fast food restaurants, ATMs, and even our sayings (“Time is money”). Why are we like this? What drives us to be eternally searching for ways to speed up our daily routines? Finding these answers means understanding the most basic values of American culture.
It is amazing to look at the number of ways that American ingenuity has made almost every aspect of our lives move just a little faster. The most obvious way is our fast food restaurants. With the invention …show more content…
When you really think about it, it all seems a little bizarre. How can you “save” or “waste” time? It’s not like time is something that you can put in your pocket to keep until later. Still, we keep on trying to come up with new ways to make more time. I was unable to understand why we feel a constant urge to do this until I read Laurence Shames’s article, “The more Factor.” Shames discusses the American frontier as it was when America was still being settled. It seemed like there was an endless supply of “more” America to be had. Then, Americans ran out of new frontiers and had settled all of their land, but the “more factor” still remained firmly ingrained in the American subconscious. Being the innovative people that we are, we found other things to have more of and one of these is time.
This idea of more seems to explain the rise of fast food chains and ATMs quite adequately. Some people might attribute it to laziness, but I beg to differ. If it were laziness, then we would spend all of that extra time that we have created laying around all day doing nothing. And yes, there are those lazy