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Generation Instant Gratification

Updated on July 18, 2012

The most important of all assets is time. It is something that is constantly fleeting and always being measured. Throughout "time" dramatic events have marked history, memorable moments have shaped the sports world, and different periods have been used to categorize and differentiate generational gaps. As the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement and Generation X tries to make its own impact on society there is a new generation forming before our eyes. It is a generation we can refer to as "Instant Gratification."

The term nostalgia can best be described as a sentimental longing for the past. Our grandparents and great grandparents are often nostalgic about a time that involved no cars and much less worries than today. The Baby Boomers are apt to describe the good ole days that didn't involve computers and cell phones but rather a dependence on the Dewey Decimal System and pay phones. We have gone from the Jeffersons to the Jetsons at the speed of light and things don't appear to be slowing down any time soon.

It is safe to assume that I am probably in the 1% of the National Population (or less) that neither owns an IPhone nor a Facebook account. The most amazing thing about technology is not what it has to offer but how it changes people, an individual, and a society without warning or notice. IPhones, IPads, IPods, Social Networks, Navigation Systems, Blue Ray players etc. have gone from wants to necessities. Tools and electronics that hadn't yet been born a mere five years ago find people today that now cannot exist without them. Does a twelve year old child really need an IPhone? I can recall my grandparents and parents' generation telling me of when they were kids the games and activities that were played(punch-ball,stick-ball, kickball, kick the can, hopscotch). Unfortunately the present day children would rather throw a ball on a 2 by 4 inch screen rather than in the street; unless of course they recently downloaded Angry Birds onto their phone. I guess technology is partly to blame for the ever growing obesity problem with the children in our country.

Generation Instant Gratification will include a group of peers that complain that they need a new IPhone as their current one takes an outrageous 45 seconds to download the newest app. This will be a generation that goes out to lunch with a co-worker but only communicates with his/her blackberry. This generation will be marked by social networks and social dating sites. These are the individuals that in 20-30 years will find it hard to believe how humans used to be married to the same partner for over 50 years! Along with a fixation on immediate results the individuals from this period will find it harder and harder to remain faithful to their partner due to the tools readily available to daily tempt them; and long term consequences will be sacrificed in favor of short term "immediate" pleasure.

The newest generation upon us is growing up in a much different world than those of generations past. There are certain unalienable truths that must be accepted: The record player, rotary phone, VCR, and discman are extinct and are showing no signs of return. Technology is a force so creative, innovative and efficient that it must be used in moderation. It affects most if not all aspects of life and today's youth seems more dependent on it than ever before. Just the other day I pulled up at a stoplight next to a car with four teenage boys in it. A wry smile came across my face as i noticed the driver as well as the three passengers were all looking down at their phones (texting/playing games) at the same time. Time is the most important of assets and it appears many of us are currently wasting it. Generation Instant Gratification needs to take a step back (maybe 2) and learn possibly from their grandparents what its like to actually live, communicate, socialize, and create; instead of living in a bubble created by others and driven by machines.


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