The Culture of Impatience & Instant Gratification

We were today discussing in our group of old school buddies on the new developing culture of impatience and instant gratification. We all are working in different sectors but had a common view that as younger generations getting accustomed to immediate feedback, the erosion of their patience is leading to serious problems.

The millennials and the youth have the “gotta have it right now” mindset. Growing up with technology has made them dependent on the idea of always being connected. Information, entertainment, and communication are only a click away all day, every day. There is instant feedback from social media because followers can see your photos and status updates immediately. Your cell phone is always in your pocket so the connection is constant and there is no need for patience.

The need for instant gratification has spilled into our personal and professional lives. If you order a pizza for dinner, you can expect the restaurant to deliver that order within a time frame. In certain fields, a lack of patience is fine, but when raising children, teaching others or climbing the professional ladder, there is no way around slow, sometimes excruciating periods of growth.

The important milestones in life don’t happen overnight. Becoming successful in any aspect of life requires patience, persistence, and dedication. All too often, the quick fix is to withdraw from situations that seem difficult or require a considerable amount of effort.

Emma Taubenfeld of Pace University writes, instant gratification doesn’t grant lasting satisfaction; its entire purpose is to substitute the deep pleasure of earned enjoyment with the fleeting pleasure of instant enjoyment.

Not all instant gratification is bad. There’s nothing wrong with wanting or needing things, experiences, or products in a timely manner. It’s important to balance our desires with a realistic sense of timing and patience. By itself, though, instant gratification isn’t a negative thing.

We have the ability to make things happen without having to wait. Social media gives us the instant ability to upload videos, photos, and status updates. We receive instant feedback from our social followers. We respond in near real-time to emails and tweets. In fact, we were chatting today over WhatsApp with each of us located at different places, some even thousands of miles apart.

Gone are the days, when we used to write letters and wait for an indefinite period for the response. Even telegrams, sometimes, took days to reach the addressee.

With shorter attention spans, fewer and fewer people are choosing to read books, magazines, and long articles. Even writing this article, I have consciously decided to keep the paragraphs shorter!

H/T The feature image is obtained from internet

22 thoughts on “The Culture of Impatience & Instant Gratification

    1. Yes, very true. Consumers expect to find the services, products, and information that they want quickly and easily. Since the emergence of the Internet and immense growth of social media, instant gratification has become an expectation, and the norm rather than the exception, especially in marketing. Consumers rarely wait more than two to four seconds for a website to load, and Amazon Prime has eliminated the need to wait more than a day to receive almost anything you want straight to your doorstep. All feeding into the desire for instant gratification.


  1. Absolutely agreed to your points. Instant gratification is a serious issue. It often dilutes the person’s ethics and impatience leads in resorting to shortcuts. Which is why, the temperaments are even shorter these days. Technology has created a microwave society, where people are getting alternatives too quickly to be patient with one aspect.

    That’s why,we see youngsters giving up too quickly on one thing and jumping for another, without allowing results to their efforts. Relationships are too easy to quit upon. Devices have made secretive walls between relationships. It is too easy to get divorced than to make up for the relationships.

    We need a serious evaluation of how far our devices control us, before AI takes complete control of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very correct! We’re spoiling our health, relationships, life chasing instant gratifications. We need to realise, identify, and seggregate where we need to be patient and where we need the speed. A balance is must, the equilibrium must be achieved.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely agree with you. Unfortunately, advertising and business have deliberately created this culture with adverts that scream out the consumer deserves THIS product NOW! Why wait? Get it NOW!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your observation is correct. I’m not sure if this is a problem of the environment which has led them to be this way or the generation. Remember how traveling 600 km meant a few days a century ago? Now it is a matter of a few minutes. I guess we are all evolving and we really have no clue how things will be in a few decades. Well-written write-up! Enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice post! Everything needs time to assimilate or excrete though. Who knows after a century its not even considered an issue. And if it becomes an issue it will be eliminated by the process of natural selection. That’s how we evolve dad. Don’t we??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, but it’s not an issue, my son. It’s true that we don’t know now what will be the impact of robotic process automation, artificial intelligence on our life in years to come. May be we wouldn’t need to effort for enhancing our memory, but analysis and analytics would definitely be of much importance, which cannot be just instant.
      You said of evolution and yes, we are constantly evolving. For reasons that are not completely clear, researches show the long-term dynamics of evolution to be quite slow. Rapid changes often don’t continue or stand the test of time. For changes to persist, the underlying force that caused them has to also persist and be widespread. Evolution as a process is a function of time. Also, evolution is generally slower than it looks but faster than you think.


  5. Sanchita Ghosh

    I agree with you. By itself, though, instant gratification isn’t a negative thing. We’re into the new age of instant coffee and fast foods, info on mobile, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re so right. I don’t know what I would do if Amazon went back to regular shipping schedules (7 or more days). That two-day and next day shipping has changed my life and I’m so spoiled now. I’ve noticed that waiting in line for anything is pure torture, I never read long emails and I hate long meetings. Times have definitely changed. This may explain why relationships breakup so often. No one wants to stick it out and put in the work. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says that “love is patient and kind”. Maybe this is why we see less love in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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