Tag Archives: instant gratification

So What If I Want “IT” NOW… Life is STILL a Marathon (The Monday Fits)

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“…The Millennial generation is accustomed to having questions answered quickly, acting on that knowledge immediately and receiving feedback on demand…” (source) 

“..The demand for instant results is seeping into every corner of our lives… The need for instant gratification is not new, but our expectation of ‘instant’ has become faster, and as a result, our patience is thinner..” (source)

“What’s really driving this is the need for instant gratification……Even when ordering online “they” crave immediacy …. the desire for convenience – and within that the desire for immediacy in a multichannel world.” (source)

One thing I have heard for the last 10 years, is that my generation, the millennial generation, loves instant gratification. With our current technology, and information at our fingertips at every minute of the day, our minds want everything faster from retail, answers to questions, and any service that you can think of.  Well, I have news for everybody, DID I ASK FOR THIS LIFE? NOOOOOOO

Yes, I do expect my computer to boot up quickly, I hate when Netflix or Hulu takes longer than 10 seconds to load , and I definitely enjoyed Youtube way better when I did not have to watch a 15 second advertisement prior to the showing of my video. Well, I have news for everyone, sometimes I don’t want this life, the need to be instantly gratified, YOU KNOW WHY?

Life is a freaking marathon. Most events feel like a marathon. AND the most IMPORTANT things that are done of any substance or quality happen over a period of time.

So the personal desire to see results tomorrow sucks sometimes. I wish I was more comfortable with waiting and not bothered when certain things take time. In fact, it would be awesome if things happened instantly only every once and a while so it would be like a surprise. I could say, “Oh, this a nice change, things are happening quickly for one.”

Why am I ranting about this? Because it’s summer, and as always there is always someone that I know preparing for the bar exam. Yeah, I had to study for that once. And my advice is  always remember studying for the bar exam is like a marathon. Training, studying hard is long, and it sucks, but you have to prepare every day or you will get behind and you won’t have all the knowledge needed to knock out the bar exam. You HAVE to do a little something each day, even when there are no results, no progress. As millennial, I had to learn this too. WHY?

As much as we want or love instant gratification, it doesn’t really mean everything in this thing called life happens instantaneously. And I repeat, Life is a freaking marathon.

Marriage. Kids. Buying a House. Running a Business. Paying Down Debt. Building Savings. Staying Healthy.Taking care of a pet. Do I need to keep going?

Now, don’t get me wrong, we look for shortcuts. Technology has provided this desire.  It doesn’t not however make us lazy. It’s time to change story that is being told about us. I WANT to change the story. This is the story that I am trying to tell:

  1. We are results-orientated.  – We may take shortcuts, or change course several times trying new things over and over instead of trying one tried and true thing, but  we want the best results. Does it matter that we’ve learned to cut corners and be effective. Got it?
  2. We don’t want to waste time. – Why keep unnecessary information in your brain, that’s what google is for. Or why do something when there is a quicker way to do it. Tradition is important. Unnecessary tasks are not. We grew up with recycle, reduce, reuse. We want to emphasize the REDUCE part. Cool?
  3. We can work hardThe way we want to work just looks different. I don’t want to work from 8-5, sometimes I want to sleep in, start at 10 AM, but I am willing to work at 7 PM and I don’t need a baby sitter (i.e. my boss) to be productive. We just want freedom in how we get to solutions, because we know there are so many ways to get there. Make sense?

Bill Gates is quoted as saying, “I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job, because, he will find an easy way to do it”  and if it makes sense to him, maybe the older generations need to walk into the light. And we’re not trying to be lazy, we’re just different. Just like every generation before us. The reality is that, “People fear what they don’t understand”  (source: Andrew Smith)

Call us the “Trophy Generation” if you want to, but as one person pits  it, Jeff Avallon, the vice president of business development at IdeaPaint, a workplace technology firm in Boston says, “Millennials’ behavior is totally functional for the world they inherited. They don’t respond to traditional” [enter any word here] … Sorry, there’s no longer enough time for that. The economy demands constant innovation, and the ruling-by-iron-fist model is not nimble enough for reacting quickly. Millennials are simply trying to do better.” (source)

Look at Amazon.  The way they complain about how Millennials wants things fast, its as if they would have preferred Amazon not figure out how to get our orders to us faster. Would everyone prefer to go back to week long shipments?  Because you remember the time when it took a long time? Now that’s silly. If we choose to create other opportunities that are quicker and easier that is good, even if we spend a lot of time figuring out how to get there. Because there are so many things in life that are like a marathon, that take time and are challenging and there’s nothing humans can do about it, not even Millennials. And if we fail at events in life that are like marathons, because we are in love with instant gratification, well then, so be it. We will have to ADAPT to those things. So maybe it’s time everyone ADAPT to us.

M/P

ON AIR: The Never-Ending Story (the news) Needs a Face Lift

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“It is not the young people that degenerate; they are not spoiled till those of mature age are already sunk into corruption.” – Charles de Montesquieu

As a critic of my generation, I find my purpose to question what we are doing to push ourselves to our fullest potential, but I want to do a little reflection on the idea that is often unfairly placed on our generation: instant gratification. More pointedly, that our attention and interests are fast and fleeting that the reward must be quick or we lose attention. Many scholars point to the way we donate to viral causes instead of immersing in long term involvement and participation. For instance, we donate to causes like the “ice-bucket challenge” (of recent), or the skyrocketing involvement with the Stop Kony campaign that quickly disappeared in 12’. I am not necessarily disagreeing with this assessment, but I would contend that this instant gratification was taught to US. The dreams and visions of the generations before us have manifested very differently than ever expected. So blame it on the over saturation we inherited…

Case and Point: The Never-ending News Cycle

Cable news today is constant and never-ever ending. When the idea of a 24-hour TV news station was conceived, it was brilliant. Ted Turner, creator of the first 24-hours television news station, Cable News Network (CNN), envisioned providing the news to more people and at different times of the day. Prior to the 24-hour TV news station, depending on your job or responsibilities you would miss the afternoon or evening news and you might not know what’s going on locally or nationally. And more importantly, Turner wanted Americans to have more access to the world. “He wanted to shrink the world. He wanted Americans to understand the world, and not be isolationists, not be comfortable in our little cocoons.” (Source). Sounds great, doesn’t it?

In the beginning, CNN was able to be the leader of pushing news stations to be more on site, globalize their stories, and provide live coverage by any means necessary. Today, the news often feels like sound bites, tantalizing headlines, the number of likes on social media (as everything else) and less and less about substance. The original CNN’s goal was to break the news first, push the limits, and provide in-depth coverage. Today’s goals are shaped after those same ambitions, but money and competition has pushed the 24-hours news cycle to produce very different results.

All the (American) 24-hour stations (CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc.) now-a-days try to break stories too early before all the information is available, or pursuing ANY story that will “excite” viewers instead of what’s actually happening in hopes of catching our supposed fast and fleeting attention span. And often times, content, research and investigative journalism has been thrown out for pundit opinion. Sometimes it feels as if stations would rather do a talk show with multiple opinions then an in-depth story.

How did this happen? Many cite the inventions of Twitter, buzzfeed, TMZ, the Huffington Post, etc., show the engaging news, hot topics, videos, because our generation only cares to a certain point. That these outlets have become popular because of the lack of our ability to stick with a story.

This is the farthest thing from truth. The reality is everyone is telling the same story, in the same way. Yeah, FOX news may be to the right, and MSNBC is to the left, and CNN goes where it feels at the moment. To me, the news is no longer special. We don’t pay attention, because news stations are not willing to take risks and really do something different; outside of different hosts and a new technology that doesn’t delve more into the story. They are not investing and studying ways to provide the news to our generation. What happens today, news stories are covered fervently, day in and day out, until the next big story breaks, and then the news stations forget about it. Some people with personal connections may try to keep up to date, or have to go to the Internet and hopefully a news source is still following the story.

Look to the story of the kidnapped Nigerian girls and the “#bringbackourgirls” campaign. Last week, the Huffington Post had a writer provide an update, but there are few updates regarding the story when you google the issue, and in the HPost’s article there are some startling revelations that make you wonder why we’re still not interested, such as the fact “Not one student has been rescued”!!!! (Source)  If this were the 80’s, CNN continual coverage from that era could’ve pushed governments into action as the once infamous “CNN effect” was coined due to the major impact CNN had on the conduct of states’ foreign policy in the late 80’s and early 90’s. There was a time when the news was pushing our country, today, it’s too busy following the dollar.

In the opening of Ted Turner’s Life Class with Oprah, he said, “Nobody studied their competitors harder than I did… and then took a risk”. If only they would listen his advice now. A lot of people still get their news from twitter and Facebook, but many still choose, as I do, to read the long articles from a magazine such The Atlantic, Fortune or from newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Sometimes I want the in-depth well-researched story and sometimes I do want my TMZ. Unfortunately, at the same time, TMZ has on occasion broke stories that the “real” news didn’t even pursue. I want the news stations to fight for the right stories and cover the necessary issues going on in America and abroad, because that’s their job, if they do that, the people will come, my generation will come.

So don’t say our attention span is short, we have nothing to watch or to look forward to.

M/P