Updated: Mar 10, 2020
I've been thinking about instant gratification lately. I don't know how old you need to be today to realize how much it has changed you. For me, at 55, I really had to stop and think about how subtly that has happened in my life. Time and technology march on. Author Mark Mieras says this, "Because we have so little time to long for something, there is a kind of restlessness in our lives which leads to us enjoying ourselves less. If you always get everything you want right away, you're constantly on the treadmill of dissatisfaction, always on the lookout for the next product, the next set of new clothes, the next gadget, without ever reaching the stage of quiet enjoyment and being satisfied with what you have." These days, if you have the money to buy it, you buy it. If you have the ability to watch it, you binge-watch it. If you are hungry, you pull into a fast food place. I have done all of those things. And as much as I love technology, I do agree that we've lost the art of waiting.
Thinking back, here are some of the things I had to wait for: 1. Letters in the mail from friends and family 2. TV shows only broadcasted once a week 3. Things I wanted were received at Christmas or my birthday. (check out that record player!) 4. People to call you on a corded phone when they got where they were going
5. Waiting to hear stuff in general. No calls, messages or "notifications" while driving. 6. Photos to get developed 7. College grades (got them in the mail) 8. Eating out (it used to be a real treat because it was rare) While some things I totally appreciate, like digital photography, I really wish cell phones were exclusively limited to emergency use only while driving. I confess that instant gratification has become quite common in my own life and now that I'm aware of it and have confessed it, I'm going to take steps to...for lack of a better word, WAIT. What does that look like for me? Eat out less so it's something to look forward to. Have more real conversations. Use my phone as a phone. Less binge-watching. Make a wish list instead of just buying what I want. I know those are pretty grand aspirations, but I think they are something worthwhile to shoot for. I'll keep you posted. What about you? What things do you remember having to wait for? Do you think this world of instant gratification has changed you?