Anyone doubting whether the pace of life has indeed increased to break-neck speed should cast their eye over a survey into our internet browsing habits.

Akamai’s study (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6131668.stm) found that 75% of web users will not return to a site if it takes longer than four seconds to load.

Our patience – or is it our attention span? – is now so limited than we simply don’t have the time to wait and we’re more inclined to move on to something that will give us the instant results.

The survey also found that sites that prove hard to navigate are very unpopular and for regular on-line shoppers any site that has a confusing or slow check-out facility is also immediately black-marked.

The four-second threshold represents half the time previous research stated that shoppers would wait for a site to finish loading.

It is a further indication that everything we do these days must be done in a hurry.

The moment we start to over-take ourselves cannot be too far away.

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