What is Instant Gratification

Before we begin, what is instant gratification? It’s the urge to receive pleasure or fulfilment without delay or postponement. It really comes down to when you want something, and when you want it is often/always now. Instant gratification is the polar opposite of delayed gratification, which we’ve always been taught is better and have strived to achieve most of our lives.

The Problem

In the twenty-first century, our lives revolve around the frightening luxury of instant gratification. You don’t have to cook right now if you want anything to eat; simply order it in. If you’re looking for new clothing, go to Amazon. If you want to sell something, you may do it on eBay in a matter of hours or even minutes. Do you want to buy something but don’t have any money? Simply swipe your credit card. We’ve gotten so used to the supersonic speeds of things that people who pronounce a whole syllable seems slow.

Over the last several years, the globe has witnessed the most rapid developments in all aspects of human life. However, if there’s one fundamental truth in life, it’s that everything has a cost. You may not be required to pay today, but the due day will inevitably arrive. Our world appears to be heading towards sunshine and rainbows, but there has to be a catch, right? Well, I’m sorry to be the bearer of doom, but there’s a catch.

Marketing corporations have perfected tactics that almost entirely play on our current demand for instant gratification. The ‘buy now’ buttons or links to product pages on the lovely outfit you saw on an Instagram post aren’t only for your convenience. It’s designed to convert an impulse desire for a product into an impulse purchase. Hundreds of studies have proven that people are terrible at making decisions; it’s not difficult to take advantage of this flaw and profit from it.

People have had to foster connections and put in the effort to stay connected to people over the millennia of human existence. This resulted in long-lasting friendships that could withstand the test of time and isolation. If you wanted to talk to someone before the telephone or the internet, you had to wait until you were physically present next to them. This meant that whatever you wanted to say could be carefully considered, which strengthened connections. However, in today’s society, due to the near-instantaneous pace of information and its reach, our responses are nearly entirely thoughtless. Our willingness to engage and cultivate relationships has been eroded by the simplicity with which we may contact someone. How many times have you received a ‘Hey’ in response to your ‘Hi’ and then received no catch-up response? The world has been reduced to a series of overly simplistic reactions. Today, all we worry about is whether or not our ‘friend’ or ‘sibling’s’ exists, and if so, whether or not they are alive.

Furthermore, our over-reliance on technology to alleviate boredom and a lack of patience, our disregard for privacy and data, our ignorance of new technology’s negative effects, and the amount of control we give to mega-corporations are all factors that might lead to a dystopian future.

Hasn’t this progressed from a minor annoyance to a major disaster?

So what’s the solution?

I believe the solution is to have at least one day of Digital Detoxification every month. To make it a habit to read the terms and conditions of everything we use and understand it, be ready to say no. To reevaluate what we want for ourselves in the future and deliberately work towards it, let go of instant gratifications in the form of social media, video games and video on demand. All of these things are hard to do in this hyper-connected world, but it only gets harder the more we put it away. There is no better time than today to turn your life around from wasteful and depressed to oriented and focused. Obviously, getting rid of technology is not the answer. This is an overcorrection that will never address the problem. In a world where technology is dominating us, the solution is to take back control of technology. The robot uprising, it appears to me, is not a threat to our future. A world in which algorithms control our every action is the future to fear. A future where we’ve utilized free will to eliminate itself. Where the entertainment is ads. A true dystopia awaits us, and it’s not too late yet to prevent it.

Here are a few things to try in order to practice Delayed Gratification

  • One of the best things to try every month is a digital detoxification day. A digital detoxification day is one day during which you abstain from using electronic entertainment devices, so no phone, tablets, computers, or gaming consoles; the only entertainment should be books or other non-electronic means. The next thing is to cultivate the habit of reading terms and conditions of everything we use and understand it, to be educated about every tool in our lives.
  • Make an effort to message or contact your friends and relatives at least once a day. Engage in a genuine discussion. Make it a practice to fix as many issues/fights as you can before going to bed. Because the only thing worse than a quarrel is not resolving it. A 5-minute discussion that you despise every day adds up to 35 minutes of lost time and despise in a week. This isn’t going to end well. So make an effort to make each contact worthwhile.
  • Reevaluate what you want for yourself in the future and work toward it, letting go of quick gratifications like social networking, video games, and on-demand movies. In our hyper-connected society, it’s difficult to let go of these things, and the more we push them away, the more difficult it becomes. There is no better moment than now to transform your life from one of waste and depression to one of direction and concentration.
  • Get a book and read it. There is no better way to condense and digest a person’s whole life’s experiences into a single four-hour read than through a book. Movies have to take out a lot to suit their time restrictions, programs have to stick to their budgets, and podcasts can only go as far as the presenter can. Books are awesome, and it’s tough not to recommend reading as a habit.
  • Every day or week, meditate or journal. It’s not only therapeutic, but it’s also a compilation of your experiences that you may go to for comfort or assistance in the future when you’re experiencing difficulties.

Jordan B. Peterson’s viewpoint on this subject is one that I find very compelling. It’s better not to feel resentful in the future because of all we didn’t do but could have done. Why not strive for what is best for us and be content with our lives? Instead of trying to conceal your sorrow and appear to be joyful, face it front on and achieve what you’ve always wanted to do (or at least attempt). Why not know you tried your best and succeeded or failed rather than regretting your decisions to not pursue the things you wanted to pursue and never knowing the outcome?


I’m excited for the future and everything that it will offer. If you ask my mother, she will tell you how much of a techie I am. There isn’t a single smartphone or laptop that I don’t read about first. However, I continue to feel that Instant Gratification has long-term Side-Effects, some of which are quite negative.

During these moments of lockdown, all of the disadvantages of our over-reliance on instant gratification and technology, in general, have become even more obvious. Despite our current degree of connectivity, people have committed suicide as a result of loneliness. So it’s high time for us to rethink our life’s purpose and start mapping out a path to get there. It’s just better to live life slowly and profoundly; hurrying isn’t worth it.

Thank you very much for reading. I’ll see you in the next write!