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Instant Gratification Society

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Note: This was originally going to be a reply from Badwhales comment on my National Healing posting. However, my reply got a little long…enjoy.

Cigar: 5 Vegas Cask Strength
Drink: Coke

In today’s society grows the instant gratification society. Slowly, this movement is also growing throughout the rest of the world.

For many, the question really comes to how did we get this way? My generation is probably the last generation that can still remember parents kicking their children out of the house and telling them to go outside and play. I remember the days before cable and internet. I remember getting a BETA max and being able to watch Star War’s over and over again. Before that time, we had to wait until HBO showed it. I also remember not having a video game system and actually having to use my imagination to play games like G.I. Joe, only we called it war. Then, I remember getting our Atari and then later the Nintendo. It all went downhill from there. I have to add for snickers sake, my first computer was an Apple IIGS!

I blame the movement on the instant access to everything that we have. My generation started with the video games. When someone started a video game, they wanted to complete the game and then move on to the next challenge. Video games when I started playing them were only 5-10 levels and then started over. Video games, as simple as they were, took weeks to master. Today, many games only take hours to master. Many individuals have the mentality that if it takes too much of my time, I’m not going to do it because it’s not worth it. I see this all the time in the military and what’s interesting is the military is a direct reflection of society.

People really don’t want to do their research. People want to “GOOGLE” it or they want it dictated to them. I can’t count how many times that I see, Anti-Bush/Anti-Obama rhetoric and only to find what people based their information on not only comes from the internet but isn’t true. I really enjoy watching people act like political experts…”Did you know that Obama/Bush did…”, however if you ask them, what are the three branches of the government you would probably get the answer, “Republican, Democrat, and Independent”. Sad that many people are “political experts, however, don’t know the basics because it wasn’t told to them by RUSH or Sean Hannity. My parent’s generation is of the work hard generation or the “Ask not what your country can do for…” generation. They didn’t have all the tools growing up that we have today. Today, many people ask “What is in it for me?” Remember the instant gratification from the video games? People forget the past because to them that is history…”it happened and it didn’t affect me so I don’t care.”

I’ve often described Americans as the “Not at my front door” society. As long as it doesn’t affect me, I don’t care. People didn’t care about the economy until it affected them in the wallets. Anyone who knows about history could see all the spending we are doing as a nation can’t last forever. Eventually, we are going to have to slow down. I remember hearing about that in the 80’s. I’m sure that people on this board older then I am can say that it’s been said longer than that. However, most American’s didn’t care because it didn’t affect the directly. Now that they are affected, they care. However, just wait until our economy starts to move again and see how long people remember. I give it months before majority of American’s are spending like the economy never crashed.

That’s today’s society, instant gratification. Although as I write this, I’m sure that something like this has been said about every society. I’m sure that something similar will be said about tomorrow’s generation. It’s going to be fun to watch.

Thanks for your time and patience…


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  1. ashauler's Avatar
    I remember very well when our television had 2 knobs....UHF/VHF and the remote control was me or one of my sisters. We had 4 channels to choose from. When cable came to our area, we got a whopping 13 channels to choose from and thought we were in heaven.

    While I agree that the instant gratification that we now have limitless opportunities to experience have, in some instances, fostered the "entitlement generation". However, for the discerning and dilligent person the "information expolsion" has also provided many more opportunities for debate, and the exposure of otherwise unknown or obscure opinions and ideas. In my view, never a bad thing.

    Double edged sword.