“Google It” I say, every time I come across something unfamiliar. Sometimes I don’t even wait to have a discussion about it. Before I know it, Google is already open in my phone with several results, as I surf through and quickly satisfy my curiosity.
We want everything, and we want it now! We go to the gym and start looking for changes in a week, get disappointed when we don’t see any, blame the trainer, skip to a different gym or binge eat in dejection, or leave working out altogether. A crack on our phone screens give us major OCD, and we get our phones replaced without even thinking of an alternative. We break up, and we replace love with rebound, much before we give our hearts the time to heal. Messages in our phone need to be answered immediately. We just can’t think of waiting to finish what we were in the middle of. We order something online, and we’re waiting by the window even before it’s shipped. We get angry at customer care, friends and life partners, when they don’t do something we expect of them. We honk at cars in the traffic jam and speed up in narrow lanes despite the risk of accidents and death.
Everything from our food to education, entertainment to relationships, have become instant. We seem to have lost the patience to wait it out or start from the scratch. Our minds get more restless by the day, all at the cost of ignoring the dangers instant gratification brings. All we think about, is satisfying the urgent need for something, while conveniently ignoring what it’s doing to our minds, our health, our relationships and our children, seeping the impatience to various other sets of life. When things don’t work out our way, we are quick to get dejected and depressed, without once considering an alternative or trying again. Instant gratification rips us off of values and patience. We have no self control or discipline anymore because we’re too focused on the result, more than the process. In our hurry for gratification, we don’t even wait for the best version of what we want, we make do with the average, since the best takes time. We are unwilling to learn before excelling, slog before being rewarded, or seek before searching. As a result, we’re now a world filled with impatient, lazy and stupid minds that haven’t been fed enough time and effort.
The joy that comes instantly, leaves in the same hurry that it came with, and we hop on to the next one. How is this any different from drugs? They both bring happiness, albeit temporarily, but leave long term damages. Long term gratification instead, though takes time, brings profound happiness, helps us exercise self control, brings about discipline and keeps us more aware in the present.
It’s time to begin questioning our ways. Are we willing to consciously wait it out and get worthy results, or will we continue being a bundle of nerves in search for the next instant joy, risking the long term unhappiness and damages it brings along?