Faster information flow was once something to be desired. When messages had to be physically delivered, you took your time composing them. You really tried to get every possible bit you could out of that communication. We used to thank each other in advance for our consideration.
For a long time, things improved slowly. We rode horses, camels and elephants, tied pieces of paper to birds, filled boats and cars and airplanes with envelopes and parcels, but all that time the general feeling was that everybody liked mail, and we couldn’t get enough of it.
Then junkmail was invented, and we got our first taste of the coming information superhighway, plastered with billboards from sea to shining sea. It began to dawn on us that it was possible to O.D.
Instead our capacity to both produce and consume information exploded when we all got wired up to each other through electronic media: the telegraph, the telephone, the radio, the T.V., and now the Internet. Our newfound tolerance has created the conditions for long-term dependency, which finally made it down to cigarette-pack proportions with the invention of the smartphone.