Remember the days when you showed up on time—or, if you were late, you at least felt bad about it? Those days are long gone, thanks to cell phones and text messages. "We have so many ways to relay a message that we're going to be tardy that we no longer feel guilty about it," writes Elizabeth Bernstein in the Wall Street Journal, recounting the story of a friend who arrived to dinner one hour and 47 minutes late—but "strikingly unstressed" about her tardiness, because she'd been texting Bernstein updates the entire time.
One terminally late person Bernstein interviews actually says she feels "responsible" as long as she sends a text "five minutes before the meeting is supposed to start to say I am going to be 10 minutes late." Worse, "lateness is contagious," Bernstein continues. "Once one person is tardy, others feel they can be late as well. It becomes beneficial to be the last one in a group to show up, because your wait will be the shortest." It may be time to re-learn some time management skills, or you could lose a friend or two.