Make no mistake, I appreciate the instant connectivity provided by my smartphone as much as anyone, and fast-forwarding through commercials with DVR is possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread, or maybe since designers made dresses with pockets*.  But sometimes, a moment of reflection between an action and its consequence can make all the difference.

For example, my bathroom both currently and at home growing up is a combination shower/tub, so once the water starts running for the tub there’s a little thingy (for lack of a better word) to pull that diverts the water to the shower head.  And the shower head water is always freezing, no matter how hot the bathtub spigot water was before I pulled the trigger.  When switching from the faucet to the shower, I seriously need that 1-2 second delay to get out of range and post up on my tippy-toes on the back wall of the shower, so that the water has time to warm up before I hop back in.  It’s a critical part of my morning routine, and if I’m too slow I get shocked.

In a similar vein, Gmail’s “undo” function has saved me from many potentially awkward situations: spelling people’s names wrong even though it’s clearly spelled out in their email address, sending to the wrong person, asking dumb questions, etc.  I tend to proofread quickly, click send, process what I saw, and frantically click “undo” to fix the mistake.  This also applies for Gmail’s “you said there was an attachment but didn’t actually attach anything, do you really want to send this (you idiot)?” feature.  Lifesaving.  Or at least, awkward-email-mitigating.

Other times I enjoy getting delayed:

  • When there’s traffic but I’m listening to a really good audiobook so I don’t care if I’m late to work
  • Also that one time I missed my highway exit because I was super into my audiobook (check out anything by Ken Follett; I particularly liked Eye of the Needle)
  • When the ski chairlift stops and you have a perfect view of the terrain park, or the ski team slalom area
  • When your friend won’t tell you the answer to a riddle but then you figure it out all by yourself and feel pretty darn accomplished**

See, it’s not always a bad thing.  Particularly the shower example.  Cold showers are the worst.


*I wore one such dress to both my high school and college graduations, and found that I could store many fun distractions in the pockets, like paper clips and silly putty.  I don’t recommend putting silly putty in a dress pocket if you ever want to wear it again.

**One of my favorites: He who makes it, has no need of it.  He who buys it, has no use for it.  He who uses it can neither see nor feel it.  What is it?