Instant gratification and the penalties that it carries

Gratification subjectively comes to us and we love it, it comes to us in all forms of life, whether that is in the form of money, food, happiness you name it. This evolving cultural wave acts as if it is a guardian angel following us around in our life. Instant gratification is what our society thrives on and is the norm in our life to get everything instantly instead of playing the waiting game. Todays instant gratification is expected in seconds. Although, that sounds and feels nice at the time, what does that really do us as society? Does it hinder us from being patient and taking our time when working for what we want in life?

The rise of instant culture

When the internet hit scene, it seemed that life became faster and more creative. Everything we do from buying products to staying connected with friends can be instant. The more society became acclimated to this type of system, the more it taught our minds that we expect to get what we want in seconds! Over the years as the internet has evolved, business personnel and engineers are constantly developing creative ideas, to get goods and services in your hands in blazing speed. The variety of getting goods such as food, clothing, services, experiences has made instant gratification king of the mountain! in our daily lives and it does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Instant gratification transfers to other areas of life

The buzz of an instantly gratifying nature conditions our mind to expect things instantly in whatever we do outside of the internet. When we go into world to start our day, we rush to work, rush to eat, were quick to pick up our cell phones even if no one is calling to check social media to get our so called “high” while trying to get what we want at that moment in time as fast as possible. This is killing us! We do not even realize that we as humans have become so thirsty for instant gratification, that we try and live life at 100 miles per hour so to speak just for that ounce of gratification. Sadly, we become disappointed when instant gratification does not happen because we are too busy trying to satisfy our needs and when that does not happen we go through withdraws. Its killing us! we get home from a stressful day and we are still trying to search for instant gratification by taking on many different tasks around our so called “place of peace”, thinking this makes us feel better about ourselves. However, we did not do anything but make our home a stressful place. Its like if we don’t have 12 different things going on at once, we’re ready to hang up our cleats so to speak! Relax everyone and remember one thing at a time!

Subjectively, we have become impatient with everything, whether we are waiting 5-10 minutes to get bite to eat at a restaurant or staring at mobile app loading screen for 3 seconds, everything takes too long in our minds. Why is this? Instant gratification has taken over.

Exhaustion from the grind of instant gratification

We as human constantly race each other to get instant gratification. We do not realize how tired and exhausted we actually are from the journey of that race. People often think to themselves “I’m really tired because work, or i’m tired from my day”, what our minds are really trying tell us is….. we are over worked from the thought and race of instant gratification everyday, 24/7. It is a race we will never win with ourselves and because we are obsessed with winning it, as a result, we can become unhappy with our lives thinking that we do not have anything, but in reality, we have a lot. Thats what instant gratification has taught us, to feel empty and run a race to impress others while trying to make ourselves feel gratified! Shoot me now!

Once we lay our heads down on the pillow at night, we still do not feel gratified, as we are thinking about what we did not do and how we missed out on our instantly gratifying “high” during that current day. Additionally, we become sad by it and finally fall asleep depressed. Does it sound stressful yet? I’m tired just thinking about this life. Well….that is the American lifestyle at its finest!

The Penalty

As much as we try believe that instant gratification is this great thing, there are major penalties that come along with it as well. Going back to what I said about the race to instantly gratify ourselves and our hunger to show others what we have accomplished lately. This is making us exhausted, stressed out, and tired. Due to the nature of instant gratification, people can become depressed when we are not accomplishing or enjoying life as fast as others, that is instant gratification poising the human mind that the person we are looking at, is enjoying there life before us, is more worthy, when that is not the case at all. We allow instant gratification to shape who we are as people and as a result we try become something we are not, causing confusion and unfortunately, a mental crisis.


Instant gratification seems pleasant in the moment but can cause issues within life in many different ways. Mentally, it can make us sick, depressed and even unhappy with our own lives. Instant gratification has many flaws that we do not see on the surface but pay for it over time.

The hopeful news is, instant gratification is a choice. You can choose to refuse it and live life at the pace you want instead of trying to go at a speed that society demands. Is it a hard choice? You bet it is, especially when you live in an instantly gratifying environment, it is hard to carrying on with your life in a different way, which can be an uphill battle. However, the battle is doable, respectable and can be done!



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Scott Foley

Scott Foley

Software Developer | Sports Nut | fitness enthusiast