The Problem with Instant Gratification

The World is slowly becoming smaller. Now I don’t mean this in the physical sense, but in the way we can access anything within it.

Not only are flights connecting us more quickly, the internet is giving us access to things almost instantly. Amazon is even talking about introducing delivery by drones, so we can receive our material purchases as soon as possible.

News is instant these days, with twitter being able to send out your thoughts to the world the moment you think it, only to be worthless again in less than an hour.

Music can be made, shared and expired within 24 hours. Things are holding less permanence and therefore less value.

We have the luxury to research anything we want on the internet at the touch of a button. If you ask yourself, “Hmmm, I’d like to know how to make a vegan cheesecake?”
You can have one made within an hour.

Things used to take longer and because of that, we appreciated them more.

The hours we spent learning something or figuring something out for yourself meant that we invested time into the process. Which meant we placed more value on it.

Now, everything is born of a ‘throw-away’ culture.

We are becoming accustomed to instant gratification, whatever we want, we want it NOW!

We are impatient, demanding, and we complain when the internet speeds are slow.

I MUST watch this media release today!

We grumble when someone is driving slowly, or when someone is walking slowly.

We feel that we must cram as much as we can into our short existence. “It’s now or never“, it’s “productivity“, it’s “get things done!” It’s about “achieving as many things as possible.

We are so focused on the future; on becoming something, rather than being something. So focused on where we are going; that we demand short cuts. We need to ‘save time‘ so we can fit more in – information overload is slowly becoming a disease.

As such, people are creating “instant gratification” tools, such as effects, or how to DJ quickly (I’m also guilty of this).

The thing is, by doing things quickly, we make mistakes, we take short cuts that cause us to miss the beauty, yet beauty can also be found in the process of learning.

This can be likened to taking the huge ugly main road with 6 lanes to get to your destination more quickly, when there’s a beautiful winding country road lined with trees and flowers and mountain views.

Enjoy the journey
photo credit: Danielle Scott and @OaktorSolutions

Take your time Enjoy the Beauty

All this rushing around and filling our lives with metaphorical trophies is causing us to miss the point. The point of life is to enjoy it.

Thankfully, the other night whilst I was DJ’ing, nobody came up to annoyingly disturb me and so I was able to really focus and enjoy my music. I was having a great time listening to and mixing my music collection. I was taken back to the beginning of my DJ career around 20 years ago where my true passion was sparked.

I was grateful for the 20 years, grateful that I had spent such time learning and mastering, but mostly enjoying the music I love.

I was using my S4 controller, but left the sync button alone and used manual beat-matching. The satisfaction I felt came from my deep understanding of the music and my connection to it. I was not trying to impress anyone, I was not ‘showing off’. I was simply immersed in my music and realizing what an amazing journey I had experienced throughout my DJ career so far.

Instant Gratification style learning is stealing this experience away from people today and perhaps detracting somewhat from the music.

I want these tracks to be in time!” ….BOOM – Hit a button.

I want cool effects that sound like this DJ.” …..BOOM – Hit a button.

I realsied how much fun and true gratification people are missing out on by wanting the ‘instant gratification‘ tools. The sync button is one of them.

The same is true for those people using shazam exclusively, or those people that ask me to send them a list of my music so they can simply go and download it. 

By doing this you are missing out on the beautiful country lane. You are remaining on the highway doing exactly what the other zombies are doing.

Feed Me, feed me, I want it now!

Getting there is part of the fun, part of the experience. Teaching yourself, learning how to do things under your own steam and taking the scenic route, is great for the soul.

If you don’t have time for your hobbies, then you need to drop something in your life. Maybe you’re working too hard or you’re trying to achieve too much based on an overly marketed culture of “Productivity”.

A more “productive” work force means more tax dollars for those “in control”.

You might say however, that you ‘need‘ to work so many hours to pay for all the things in your life? Well maybe it’s time to truly ask yourself if those ‘needs‘ are really needs, or just things that society is suggesting you need.

Take your life back and make it your own.

Take your time with the things you love, because your true calling is defined by that which you Love.