It seems that by the age of four you learn that the ‘Next’ button speeds things up and avoids you needing to read anything.
My four year old son has learnt that by clicking ‘Next’ or ‘Skip’ that he can get straight to the game. He can’t read, however his pattern matching skills are second to none. The 16-18 year olds I teach are just as impatient, but for different reasons. Unlike my 4 year, they are fully aware that programs have terms and conditions and even though we teach them the possible consequences of not checking these first, they click ‘Next’ anyway. There is more to this than simple impatience though. They click ‘Next’ because they cannot be bothered to read through the terms, knowing full well that something bad could happen.
This is partly to do with the apathy of youth, but also that they have already experienced the sting of ‘small print’, where they have signed up for something in past and been caught out by the ‘rules’. They now believe that the small print will get them no matter what, so they click next anyway.
Adults are just as bad. A young colleague in the staffroom has just had to pay full licence costs on a product he trialed and did not want. Turns out that in the small print it stated that if he did not say that he did not want the product it was assumed that he did want it and would be invoiced.
I guess the ‘botheredness’ to read the small print and not just click next comes with old age. Once we become cinical and believe that everyone is out to get one over us, then we become cautious. It will be interesting to see at what age I can get my son to pause before clicking ‘next’, or will he just conform to the norm?