A World of Instant Gratification

fulfillment happiness instant gratification patience Feb 10, 2022

Instant gratification is the new norm for most people nowadays. We want everything now, and the value of patience seems to be lost, especially when it comes to our smartphones. We expect apps to load instantly, websites completely responsive, and information at our fingertips. Unfortunately, while this instant gratification can be convenient in some cases, it has also led to many problems. This blog post will discuss the effects of instant gratification on our society and how we can work to fix them.

Immediate satisfaction seems to be the norm now.

Patience is a virtue. This statement rings even more true nowadays. Many people are more accustomed now to receiving things in an instant. There are many things around us now that show people have gravitated more towards instant gratification:

  • Quick deliveries exist for almost anything, ranging from food, items bought online, services, etc.
  • High-speed Internet to satisfy the demanding needs of Internet users: videos that load quickly, almost lag-free gaming, quick downloads, websites that load fast, instant access to information, etc.
  • Continuous technology upgrades in the form of ever-increasing performance in our gadgets such as smartphones, computers, and laptops that deliver faster performance
  • The presence of many apps and software that cater to the many needs that we want in an instant

Instant gratification refers to the tendency of people to prefer more immediate benefits for pleasure and satisfaction than more rewarding and impactful benefits that take a long time to acquire. As humans, most of us like the path of least resistance that can bring us comfort and enjoyment. Add the fact that it is possible to acquire such pleasures in a shorter amount of time, and most of us will prefer to take the path of instant gratification than a delayed one. Today, our world shifted more to cater to this instant gratification path, and most of us are now conditioned to have this kind of instant mentality.

Why instant gratification is highly preferred by many

Nothing is wrong with indulging in instant gratification sometimes. However, if immediate pleasure becomes the norm, and you become moody when you don't get what you want, that's when this becomes a problem. So why is it that many people forego delayed gratification and choose instant gratification instead?

  • The uncertainty in the future can cause one to rely more on what can be acquired faster, even if they are less beneficial. There's no guarantee that your hard work in meeting your long-term goals can bring results for some people.
  • Some people find it hard to visualize what their lives will look like in the future once they can achieve their goals, leading to a lack of motivation and prioritizing more what you can get now.
  • Financial circumstances can make one forego more significant benefits in the future that take a long time to achieve. Therefore, less-privileged people will prioritize what can satisfy their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter, in the most immediate way possible.
  • Poor regulation of emotions can make one gravitate more towards improving mood quickly during times of distress. There's no better way to do this than engage in things, such as games, social media, and the Internet, that can bring immediate satisfaction.
  • The desire to avoid pain or anything that can bring discomfort can make a person seek immediate happiness and quick comforts. However, the path for long-term gain is full of challenges, problems, and failures that demand you overcome them to achieve success. If one does not have the mindset to tackle such things, why engage in such a difficult path?
  • Lack of proper upbringing and mental training can affect a person's mind and make you more prone to rush things instead of being patient to acquire what you want. In addition, some people are more impulsive than others, and delayed gratification can challenge such people. If you are not trained in seeing the benefits of delayed gratification and developing patience, you can be impatient and chase what you can get in the current moment.

The effects of instant gratification in our lives

Technology and social media play a big part in why our society acts more impulsively nowadays. Everything must move fast, and if you want something, you have to get it NOW! Although, one can argue that if you have to start taking action in your life, you must act now. However, it does not mean that the results must also happen now. Once a person becomes accustomed to instant gratification, it becomes more challenging to delay gratification and can affect our self-control and self-discipline in different aspects of our lives. Some of the negative effects the instant phenomenon brings to our lives include:

  • The ability to wait for something diminishes when someone becomes used to instant behavior. Falling in line or waiting for something you anticipate seems like an eternity now.
  • People can quickly drop what they are doing with just one failure or any setback that prevents them from getting what they want. A video that does not load in a few seconds, a website that doesn't load all information quickly, or a result that doesn't come after one try are all causes of frustration for someone who wants to get things in an instant. Achievements that require a long run to obtain are challenging to such individuals.
  • People become less appreciative of the present moment as the world forces us to rush through things. As a result, we can lose focus on the things around us and take their importance for granted, and we become less appreciative and forget to enjoy the little things that bring us joy.
  • The way we communicate with each other shifted drastically with all the technology around us, social media, and the Internet. Sure, all these advancements helped us reach people far away from us and helped others know more people and gain friends online. However, the emotional impact and heartfelt content from in-person communications get lost in digital communication. There's something off in texting somebody what you want to say instead of approaching and saying what you want to say when the person in question is just in the other corner of the room.
  • The desire to get results now also affects the relationship between people. Some people expect a relationship to turn out in a certain way now. This expectation is problematic because relationships take time to develop, and you can't make a person quickly adjust their feelings for your benefit. As a result, conflicts happen, and relationships fall apart.
  • Achieving long-term goals become more difficult because one can have problems staying committed, consistent, and persistent due to being used to experiencing enjoyment and fulfillment in the short term. For example, a person might keep switching jobs and careers to get that quick and instant achievement fix. In addition, you can deprive yourself of certain things that can bring lasting change and benefit your life if you can't commit to something in the long term.

It's not too late to practice delayed gratification.

A patient person who knows how to delay gratification is a rarity in today's society. Our culture now revolves around instant gratification, and it's essential to get what you want and fast. However, you don't need to follow what everybody else is doing. Before rushing to attain things quickly, ask yourself if they matter to you. A successful life is not something that you can achieve in an instant. The things that can bring the most significant positive outcomes to our lives require more patience than usual and the ability to stick and hard work. Indulging in instant gratification sometimes can help break the ice, but you need to eventually go back to work on what's essential and think about the bigger picture. We have to train our minds to resist temptation and sacrifice some short-term pleasures to bring lasting change and happiness in our lives.

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