I Want it Now! The Allure of Instant Gratification . . . .

I freely admit it.  I am guilty as charged!  I sometimes eat while driving my car.   Well let me preface that by saying that lately, that’s limited to just apples.  These days apples are pretty much my only between meal snack.  And luckily they are pretty neat and tidy to eat while navigating the streets of South Florida in my Chevy Aveo.

But I can’t tell  you how many people I see stuck at red lights, trying to wolf down sandwiches and the like.   And something that strikes me as particularly amusing, is when you see someone trying to eat what looks like a whole meal with a fork and knife, while sitting at a red light.  I hate to say it, but *this* could get really messy.

Now what on earth does this have to do with the title of my blog post:?  I Want it Now!  The Allure of Instant Gratification . . . .  Well perhaps it’s unrelated, but I doubt that.  It really depends on why the person is eating while driving in the first place.  Are they on a long drive and just simply can’t afford to take the time to pull over to sit down and eat?  Or perhaps their schedule is so tight that they can’t take a lunch break.  So if they don’t eat while driving, they will starve.  But let’s face it . . . .  In many cases, people are simply too impatient to wait until they get home to eat.  Plus, they know they’ll be too lazy to turn on the stove.

Have we become the microwave generation?  I will readily agree that microwaves can be real time savers for heating up left overs.  But I shudder to think that people are using microwaves to actually cook their meals from scratch.

OK, but now getting back to the subject of this blog post.  What is the allure of instant gratification? What are the pros and cons of  getting your immediate needs satisfied with the speed and effort it takes you to click your mouse or turn on your microwave?  And what are the long term effects of this modern lifestyle on us both as individuals and as a society?

Are we becoming more impatient?  Are we becoming more self centered?  And I shudder to ask this last question . . . .  Are we becoming a society of  ”lazy Americans?”

And again I must return to my original subject – What is the allure?  Why are we so attracted to having everything we want, right now?  What are the benefits to having all this speed at our fingertips?  Facebook is a prime example.  Why is it so ridiculously popular?  Could it have something to do with instant gratification?

Let’s face it.  Making friends is hard work.  It requires risk taking, communication, loyalty and sacrifice.  But not on Facebook.  Friendship has been watered down, and is now something that can be created instantly with a click of a mouse.  OMG!

And so to spark your imagination on this subject  (oh sorry, I must remind you – imagination is something that people used to have, in the days before video on demand, YouTube and smart phones)  But anyway, in an attempt to spark what little imagination you have left, I’ve created a list of tools that many of us are using to satisfy our immediate needs on a regular basis.

  • takeout
  • cable tv with 60 zillion channels
  • satellite tv and radio
  • Bluetooth
  • smart phones
  • Internet
  • Google
  • YouTube
  • Wikipedia
  • Amazon
  • GPS
  • Instant Breakfast
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Frozen Orange Juice
  • TV Dinners
  • Video On Demand
  • Net Flix
  • ITunes
  • Cell Phones
  • Fedex
  • Next Day Air
  • Skype
OK the list goes on and on  . . .  But you get the idea.
We have become a society that is addicted to convenience, speed and comfort at all costs.  And my question to you is:  although there are clear benefits (especially for business people and parents raising children . . . ) what are the drawbacks and negative fallout from all of this? Of course I have a few ideas of my own.  But I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments section. (hint: remember I mentioned impatience, self centeredness and laziness?)

And for those of you who still believe in the power of making small, subtle lifestyle changes with consistent effort, you might consider signing up for Discover Your Magnificence: The 30 Day Yoga Habit.  By investing a small amount of daily effort (in this case just 8 minutes / day) you can reap big rewards down the road and for the long haul.  No, it’s not as easy as Instant Breakfast . . . . but then again, it’s probably a whole lot more satisfying.

And if  you’re serious about making changes . . . . .
Please check out my free gift to you now

Includes 30 Affirmations for Daily Living!

Dee Greenberg 30 Day Yoga Habit


2 Responses to “I Want it Now! The Allure of Instant Gratification . . . .”

  1. Paula Ruth says:

    Hi, Dee!
    Drawbacks, negative fallout? The first thing that comes to my mind, my pet peeve, is the way that cell phones have taken over our society and generally not for the better, in my opinion.
    The cell phone is an instrument that while very useful and convenient has served to bring out some of our worst human qualities…self-absorption, which at its least leads to absent mindedness and rude behavior, and at worst, the kind of carelessness that causes car accidents.
    In yoga and meditation the goal is to be present, yet every day, people intentionally detach themselves from their immediate surroundings, their “now” by picking up a cell phone. It appalls me to come upon someone while walking down the sidewalk and instead of a shared, courteous acknowledgement, an opportunity to connect, the other person picks up his/her cell phone to talk with his preferred choice. Where is the civility? And of course, not being present for and concentrated on ones duty to drive safely (due to talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel) has been the cause of too many accidents, some ending in death. Meditation and yoga are all about selflessness, and gratitude for “being” in each moment. This takes work and dedication but the personal benefits extend as well to the society as a whole. Cell phones make bad behavior so easy it’s disturbing, and the most upsetting aspect is that in the name of their very convenience we are supposed to ignore or condone all the poor manners and risk that go along with their use. Wow, what would our country be like if yoga and meditation caught on in place of cell phones?

    • 50 Plus Yoga says:

      Paula, thank you so much for speaking your mind! You are so “right on” with your comments. It is music to my ears! :-)

      It never ceases to amaze me when people are waiting on line in a supermarket – gabbing on the phone and will pay for groceries without missing a beat of their conversation – barely even acknowledging the poor cashier. The epitome of rudeness!

      Also people talking overly loud on cell phones in a public place. Again – this is just plain rude – bad manners!

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