In "The Age of Miracles", more and more time is being added to the day. It's at 40+ hour in chapter 16. The 'real timers' are panicking because they are seen as freaks. Some of them even left the cities to live somewhere else. Along with the world, the protagonist's, Julia, world is falling apart. Julia's best friend, Hana, no longer see her as a real friend. Julia's family is also crumbling. Helen (Julia's mom) and Joel (Julia's dad) are having disagreements and at the end of chapter 16 you even see a glimpse of Joel with Julia's ex piano teacher. There is really nothing could have done in her situation, it was really unavoidable so you could call it destiny if you believed in such a thing.
The slowing is an one of a kind catastrophe. It appears to be the first time it has presented itself upon the human race. Most of the people are following the government's request to stay on the 24 hour clock while others decide to follow the 'real time'. The people on the 24 hour clock are just carrying on with their life as if nothing had happened because they don't know any better and because the normal lifes is the life that they are used to. If I were in the same situation I would probably do the same because I won't know what else to do. Some of the rich people are also apparently trying to colonize another planet like mars as a temporary solution is the slowing gets really bad. But colonizing another planets would take too long and the resource would easily run out. A lot of the bad things with Julia's life were expected like the mom and dad and friendship problem.