Vivek Kapadia Our need for instant gratification is actually making us anxious June 17, 2017

Somewhere down the line, we have all cringed at the sight of a loading wheel of a slow internet page or buffer while watching a video on YouTube or Netflix. The impulse to buy the next exciting thing we find on Amazon. We want most of these things instantaneously.

The demand for instant results is seeping into every corner of our lives, and not just virtually.

We do not want to wait in queues for those theme park rides and have a special pass to bypass it. We order stuff online and try to avail the same day or next day delivery, and we even scorn at a long waiting list at the doctors in frustration. Because who likes to wait? Nobody!

But, here, we don’t realise but we are showing the symptoms of anxiety. People believe that it is the Generation Y that is going through the major transformations (and suffering from the problem), but most people in their middle ages too have been through the above-mentioned occurrences.

The term coined for such manifestation is Instant Gratification. According to the internet dictionaries, instant gratification is known as the quick and immediate attainability of satisfaction and happiness. It is a way of experiencing pleasure and fulfilment without delay or patience. But experts caution that instant gratification comes at a price: It is making us impatient.

Instant gratification not only means that you want to attain satisfaction or happiness immediately but a sign that you are becoming less patient to get things that sometimes are out of your reach at that very moment.

Social media has been one of the major reasons for our hyper behaviour to want things immediately. We get that rush of excitement every time our phones light up to a new text message. We constantly upload photos, videos or posts expecting hundreds of “likes” we can earn on our Instagram and Facebook profiles and pages. We quantify a number of followers we can gain on Twitter because, in essence, the more followers you have, the more popular you are.

The need for instant gratification has spilt into our personal and professional lives.

When we see fascinating travel or food photographs on social media, we just want to be there, either to click it or to check-in or both, to experience the same, because it gives us a sense of not being left out. In a world where approval from someone else is more satisfying than enjoying oneself in that time and space.

All too often, the quick fix is to withdraw from situations that seem difficult or require a considerable amount of effort.

We will never fully be able to disconnect ourselves from the social world that we have built for ourselves, and that what this article aims for. Instead, we need to learn about how to train our mind into appreciating long-term happiness and respecting that some things do take time.

Accepting a more patient lifestyle is bound to help us navigate our current needs and happiness better. By keeping instant gratification localised in a social media setting, perhaps, we will understand the bigger picture more clearly.

The important milestones in life don’t happen overnight. Buying a house, building a relationship, getting married, earning a successful career, touring regularly to beautiful foreign destinations are some of the many things we want in lives.

And on the other side, if you look around, you will realise that millennials are changing the meaning of being rich that for an example, they now don’t prefer to own a car rather crave to earn a riding experience that stays forever.

While a large number us want to achieve these landmarks instantly, but it is critical to understand these major life events take time to develop and foster. As the wise people always emphasise, becoming successful in any aspect of life requires patience, persistence and dedication.

Avatar for Vivek Kapadia

An IT graduate and a journalist by profession who loves coffee, humans and computers. Global affairs, tech and music are some of the topics that get me talking. In my free time, you will find me either with a book or a guitar.

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