Anyone who has undertaken a lengthily project such as writing a book will know that it is a task of infinite dedication. It can take over a year to complete a book, requiring that the writer return to the project again and again, facing potentially numerous unexpected setbacks. But once the task is complete, the resulting finished book is an achievement that can be celebrated for the remainder of the writer’s years. Hence; it is an extremely demanding project, but one that pays in a lifetime of satisfaction.
Though, in today’s world that has been all but designed specifically around instant gratification, it seems that few understand the concept of delayed satisfaction. From social media platforms that specifically reward a desire to be instantly gratified, to online streaming platforms that deliver desired content on demand, the new generation is further from the notion of ‘effort equals reward’ than ever before.
And it is a serious problem.
Give Me Now
It is not uncommon for instant gratification to be compared to drug use, and for very good reason. Studies show that getting a ‘like’ on a social media post triggers a chemical reaction in the brain, and results in the feel-good hormone dopamine being released, along with a side order of epinephrine that gives us an adrenalin high. Interestingly, the same thing happens when we take ecstasy, so it doesn’t take much to put the pieces together and understand why something like social media addiction is a real and serious issue.
It can be seen as an eye roll-inducing joke that the youth of today are literally addicted to social media, but the genuine problems are rapidly becoming apparent. The new generation are, very simply, instant gratification addicts.
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Nothing Worth Receiving Is Given
An old adage says that nothing worth receiving is given, a sentiment that virtually everyone will nod along to in agreement. It happens to be an undeniable truth. But long term commitments and dedications are sorely missing in today’s world, with companies desperate for addicted users, all but spitting in the face of the concept of effort being rewarded.
But the fact remains; a diet will not give instant results, it requires effort. A book will not write itself, it demands dedication. A relationship with a significant other will not flourish by itself, it requires effort. Things that a generation with eyes glued to a mobile device are no longer being taught, or experiencing.
Discipline Is Key
Anyone having delved into social media and come out the other end without an addiction will know that discipline is key. But then, the same can be said for multiple aspects of life. Drink in moderation, watch television in small bursts, and get to bed early, or suffer a long day of fatigue.
Instant gratification by social media and other such channels is no different, and perhaps simply a new challenge for a younger generation to figure out for themselves. Each new generation has its own challenges, and it just so happens that the latest addiction to overcome is in the shape of alluring software and all the promise that mobile devices bring.