Human social evolution lags behind technology. And usually, after social evolution comes political evolution. As technology speeds up, the faster we judge other people. It is the openness to respecting differences that sets those who will thrive from those who will not.
Google estimates it takes less than a second for a person to form a judgment about another. We expect the same response time in others as we do when we search for a question on the internet. I see this show up while traveling. When I’m tired and lonely, I get frustrated by the slow speed of the plane’s internet. I’m irritated by the guy next to me taking up the armrest. My reaction time to judge is very quick.
Judging prevents us from being inquisitive and fascinated by other people. (Let alone ourselves). Being quick to judge keeps us separate not connected. Quick to judge creates ripple effects throughout all aspects of life. Notice how difficult it is to have a conversation with your son or daughter who grew up on smartphones. Notice the speed of action in movies. Classics like “Gone with the Wind” today, are considered boring and slow. Notice how stress is directly tied to the speed at which we try to react and control our world. Or notice how politicians react to one another without a deep understanding of the other’s point of view. Remember when Tip O’Neal and Ronald Reagan would debate during the day and fall into discussion over a drink at night. Reagan and O’Neal respected each other because they understood one another.
In this video by Heineken, notice how an experiment created common ground between pairs of people and forces them to reexamine their former judgments. We can understand one another even if we don’t agree.