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Generation impatient; irritable Brits wait just 10 seconds for a web page to load and five minutes in a bar queue before snapping


The dawn of the digital age is a wonderful thing but it may be to blame for the fact that we are more impatient now than at any point in history.

A new survey has found that one in two Brits have become more impatient in the last five years, with a third of us claiming to have no patience at all.

On average, we wait just 10 seconds for a web page to load, 16 seconds for a video to buffer and five minutes to get served in a bar before losing it.

Unsurprisingly, we're also liable to snap over transport; on a delayed train, waiting for a bus or sitting in a car in traffic, we'll lose our cool after a mere 13 minutes. 

bar queue

Our patience wears thin after five minutes waiting to be served

Three quarters of those questioned in the survey believe that the internet has made us more demanding, although our busier lives may also be to blame for a lack of patience.

More than half of the 2,000 people quizzed said that free time is now a more scarce commodity than ever, meaning we are much more fussy about how we spend it. 

Even friends and dates aren't immune to our rapidly declining window of patience. In contrast to the time-honoured adage of waiting three days to hear back from someone after a date, we'll actually only give it two days before our patience wears thin.

And if a friend says they'll call us back, we'll wait on average 18 minutes for the call before getting annoyed.

We expect our food served pronto in a restaurant, within 24 minutes of when we place an order. However, we're more flexible when it comes to a screaming child in said restaurant, and will sit out an ear-busting 10 minutes before the strain hits home. 

How long does our patience last?

Waiting for a web page or link to load - 10 seconds

Waiting for a video to buffer - 16 seconds

Waiting for a drink at a bar - 5 minutes

Phoning a utility or large company - 8 minutes

Queuing for train tickets - 9 minutes

Being kept on hold for doctors - 9 minutes

Queuing to post a letter- 10 minutes

Putting up with a screaming child in a restaurant - 10 minutes

Delayed train - 13 minutes

Sitting still in traffic - 13 minutes

Waiting for a bus - 13 minutes

Buying music tickets online - 17 minutes

Date running late - 17 minutes

Friend saying they’ll call you right back - 18 minutes

Waiting for food at a restaurant - 24 minutes

Waiting for a friend to text back - 18 hours

Hearing from someone after a date - 2 days

Waiting for a parcel to be delivered - 4.5 days 

Man waiting for partner to get ready - 27 minutes

The survey was commissioned by Interparcel, who said the results highlighted our frustration over lack of communication and poor processes; both in an everyday and personal context. 

"The results provide a revealing insight into how long our patience lasts and when it really gets tested," a company spokesperson said. "It’s interesting to see the limits in the various scenarios and how strong British patience really is and we live in an age where things move fast.

"Even in our personal lives we expect quicker responses and regular contact. The internet means we expect more from businesses and services we use."

Interestingly, men are more likely to describe themselves as patient than women and will happily wait 27 minutes for their partners to get ready before angst sets in.

See what else makes us irritable - and how long it takes for that feeling to materialise - with the infographic below. 


Photos: Getty Images



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