Instant Gratification Society:
We are moving toward a technology-enabled ‘instant gratification’ society. In fact, we probably are already there. Want the latest news? Sign-up for updates and you have it as soon as it breaks. Did someone say food? A few handy clicks and you have a pizza on its way in minutes. Looking for love? A ‘swipe right’ and you are up and running.
In lots of ways, it’s brilliant. Technology makes life convenient for us. It makes us more informed about events happening around the world. It helps us hold down busy lives without letting things slip.
On the flip side, there are drawbacks. One is that technology is creating inherent expectations within us. Those expectations are of instant answers and solutions. This expectation is shaping how we think and evaluate. People who rely on us are beginning to realise this too.
Take the recent US election. What was Donald Trump’s response to immigration? We will build a wall. It’s instant gratification personified by concrete and cement. And while it’s so very crude, it’s plays right into the mindset that’s evolving in the voting population. So many of Trumps soundbites were of quick solutions to long-term issues, music to the ears of the modern mind.
What is the truth behind gratification? To get a match on a dating sight is a cool feeling. But all the people I know in truly gratifying and loving relationships have invested their time, energy and commitment to get there. Lasting, stability-ensuring solutions to immigration require more thought, consideration, relationship-building and solid policy than building a wall.
True gratification takes time and effort.
Nelson Mandela got huge gratification the moment he was signed in as President of South Africa. But behind that moment was years of persistence, injustice, imprisonment and courage.
Irish chat show host Graham Norton clearly gets a huge sense of enjoyment and satisfaction each Friday evening when he shares a stage and an audience with the world’s finest celebrities. And yet for years he waited tables and occupied a council flat while searching for his big break.
Whether it is our current career ambition or a life goal, Norton’s, Mandela’s, and nearly all success stories highlight four facts:
- The end-goal is going to take time to obtain;
- There is going to be hardship along the way;
- Real commitment is going to be required to see it through; and
- The reward is more than worth the effort.
What is the current career or life goal you’re pursuing currently? Give it the time and attention it deserves and requires. Let technology break up your day with fun interludes. Use it to enable your goals. Allow it make your life easier.
But always remember, true gratification comes from the fruits of your hard work.