Why Instant Gratification Isn’t Always the Answer 

Let’s talk about instant gratification for a minute. We live in a time where we can rent a movie or buy a book at the drop of a hat.

We get what we want instantly. Fast food is all the rage and Amazon will have almost anything you could want on your doorstep within a day or less.

In short, we live in a time where instant gratification has become the norm. 

Even our communication is instantaneous. We can have face to face video chats and of course there are text messages and emails. Compare this to the time it took to write and receive a letter through the mail. We’re talking seconds instead of days, or even weeks.

Instant Communication

This type of instant communication and instant gratification has its benefits, without a doubt. But there are also some downfalls that you may not think about. 

Let’s use the email vs. old-fashioned letter as an example. Speed is a big pro, but convenience is also a downside. We don’t take as much care to craft an email as people did back in the day when they wrote a letter.

Handwritten letters were generally more thought-out. People would stop to think of what else they may want or need to share since it would take weeks before they would receive a reply. Without that time-based obstacle (and the cost and extra work involved in actually mailing the letter), it’s easy to shoot off a single line and end up in a lengthy back and forth communication to exchange the amount of information that would have otherwise been included in a single letter. 

Instant Delivery

Of course, it doesn’t stop there. Let’s talk about ordering something online and having it delivered the next day. While this is certainly convenient, it also robs us of some of the fun and anticipation of knowing there’s a package in the mail. Or the excitement of driving to the store, not knowing if what we want is in stock.

Having to wait for something has value. Just think back on the days when you were anxiously anticipating for Christmas morning to get here. The wait was half the fun. 

Living At a Slower Pace

Slow thinking and living at a slower pace in general can bring both the anticipation and thoroughness of doing something.

I encourage you to take a moment to step away from instant gratification and embrace things that take a little longer and are a bit more work on your part. Not only will it help you embrace slow thinking, it also gives you a new appreciation for instant gratification when and where it makes sense.

Not sure where to start? Write a letter instead of sending a text or an email to share some exciting news or congratulate someone. They’ll appreciate the extra effort and who doesn’t love getting something in the mail that isn’t bills or junk mail? 

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

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