Instant Gratification

I think we're all a little guilty of this mental state. We want everything and we want it now. From instant cereals to cellphones and texting. Then there's the health care...instant service, diagnosis and cure. Education? Instant job, high wages and wealth. Shopping? Gotta have those shoes for the upcoming party to match my dress or better yet, let's go for the whole shebang and buy a new outfit. Lets not get into the physical aspect...take a pill and be thinner tomorrow. What you say? You can't pay for it right now? That's ok...we'll just finance it for you or put it on the charge card.

Sometimes, it doesn't surprise me with the economic times we live in today. I remember in my younger days when we got sick, we took an aspirin and did a home remedy. If we really got sick, we got a shot of penicillin from the local doc but I rarely remember going to see him. We never really went to the emergency room and I know there was not a thing called "emergent care clinic". If you wanted to talk to someone on the phone, you sat in the chair in the kitchen hoping someone on the party line wasn't listening in. If you were on a road trip, there were no gameboys, ipods much less cell phones. It was so nice to sit back and enjoy the ride. If you needed to make a call...which never happened..you had to wait till the next town to find a phone. Christmas shopping meant planning ahead for my parents deciding what they could afford and what each child needed. The presents I remember the most are the ones my Mother made for each of us from the jammies to the knitted scarf and hat.

So how does one cure themselves of this addiction? A tough question. I spent yesterday doing a little shopping on the internet and as these thoughts were racing through my brain, I stopped and asked myself, 1. Do I really need that or do I just want it? 2. What is the personal cost to me or my family if I decide to do this? 3. Is what I am doing really important in the scheme of things or will they work out as is? And the most important part thing I always try to remember is that instant gratification is temporary. I really do have everything I could ever possibly need or want and then some.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Comments

I feel the same way. I have not bought anything for myself in so long. Every time I start to, I think about how I don't really need it...
Sarah said…
Oh Me too hon! We are struggling to make ends meet this year..Christmas will be lean at best. I'm knitting up a storm..LOL!! I totally agree..I have to remind myself often about the "do I need this" thing. Some days I am just so tired of all the input..I turn it all off and just breathe!! Wonderful post hon, Sarah
rxBambi said…
You're so good. I admit, I am a slave to instant gratification. It makes me nuts when the girls don't answer the phone (I know it's next to them) or when I want to buy something and have to wait for it to be shipped... Unfortunately I've passed that on to the kids, give me patience but I want it right now...
Matty said…
I too remember the "good ole days". You wore what you had. Sometimes second hand. If you were sick, you maybe got an OTC pill or cough syrup and stayed in bed. A kid in my house making a phone call was a rare luxury. In public, you stopped and found a pay phone using your own dime. We paid our own medical bills. You rode in the back seat with maybe something to read, or a verbal game with someone else in the car. ER visit? I remember once. Out of school you looked for a job and hoped you found one, and the salary didn't much matter. It was a JOB. You paid in cash. There was no credit, except for the layaway plan in department stores, where in reality you were paying in cash, but over time.

Today, kids and even adults "expect" things because it's how they were, or are, being raised. They don't know what it's like to live without modern conveniences. Take a cell phone from a kid and the way they react you would think they were being murdered. How many times have I heard " I can't live wihtout my cell phone".

Thanks Alicia, you really got me going. Ah, the good ole days.
Diane said…
I am more the frugal, less is more kind of gal but my husband is a bit more of a spender. It's hard because I am trying to teach my children to appreciate things and not have a "I want it now mentality". This culture today is so the opposite. :O)
Sara said…
what an amazing post! I'm such an old-fashioned girl....i teach my kids at home so that we can live a slower pace of life...i know that as a society we are far worse off because we are perpetually "connected"...so much has been lost. my dilemma: how to cling to the good old days and still be a relevant influence to my kids, and start a business that is basically dependent on being "connected" Ughh! I'm gonna go bake something from scratch and watch Little House on the Prairie.....
briannelee said…
Thank you for the congrats!

I think its always important to focus on what you really need instead of what you really just want. I need to start saving up for things I really want like I did when I was little.
Emmy said…
Such a good thought... people really just do feel like they should have everything now and everything they want without any work.
Really the reason this country is a mess right now.
I definitely use technology so much.. but there are times when I do wish for more simple times.
Divine Mrs D said…
I always wanted to live in NYC and now I want to be in a place that's so much slower! There is so much more to life then all this technology!!! and I want to find it.
drollgirl said…
you are so right about this -- we live in an instant gratification era. i am guilty of trying to fill the void with purchases! a few years ago i finally paid off all of my credit card debt, so i try to be more careful with money. and i HATE paying for most of the things that i want. things are just so expensive! i like to treat myself to stuff, but i don't go crazy. must pay for things before i accrue any interest on credit cards. but it would be a lot smarter to just pay cash and be done with it. somehow paying with cash is EXTREMELY painful, whereas credit card purchases are easier to justify.
I too miss the excitement of waiting... the expectant pause between "want" & "get". Technology's a double edged sword; the easier things are, the more we feel we MUST do... that really doesn't make sense, now does it?

hmmmmm...
~Julia
so true!
i've always been a spendoholic, but in past few years, I have learned to control it better. i too ask myself, do i really need it.
Hello Lindello said…
I feel the same way. Thats why I decided to not buy anything or eat out this month! Its been so hard!
ellen abbott said…
Anticipation is the spice. When you get what you want as soon as you want it, then the thing is pretty meaningless and you get bored with it quickly cause there is so much more out there you can get instantly, and so the cycle perpetuates itself. I don't buy stuff. I wear my clothes until they are rags. Of course, I live off an artist's income so after the essentials are covered, there's usually little left over to wonder what to do with. My only weakness is art, I'll spend money on art.
Snap said…
I did a bit of instant gratification today -- all on sale -- pair of earrings with dragons on them.
Brian Miller said…
if you look around it has infected everything we know, only further feeding the madness...and we wonder why our kids throw such tantrims at the first No, so the easy fix is to drop them at school and let the teachers figure it out...and then it all comes crashing down eventually because entitlement does not fly well when you have bills to pay...
otin said…
Unfortunately, I don't think that there is any going back! This is the new norm.
Missy said…
This is such an awesome post! When you find the cure, please let me know!
Renee said…
A wise man knows that what he has is more than enough.

Love Renee xoxo
S. Etole said…
As a teenager I bought a couple of things on layaway and paid for them with money earned baby sitting ... 35 cents an hour in those days. By the time they were paid for I wondered why I had thought I had to have them. It was an important lesson learned at an early age. Now I ask not only if it is something I need, but where will I put it if I buy it. Eliminates a lot of stuff! {this makes me sound as old as mud!}
You are most definitely right when you say we are ALL in that state of I WANT NOW!
I find myself doing the same thing unfortunately, but like you, I've come to a realization that I don't NEED all this stuff right now.
There are so much more things you can do then just buy and want.
My name is PJ. said…
This was a great post because we can all identify!

Now that I'm old (-er), I not only ask myself where I'm going to put the things I simply must have...I find myself asking whether it's the item or just the idea of the item that appeals to me....
Sandra said…
Excellent. But I really do want that backsplash! But I have to wait. : )
Haddock said…
Do I really need that or do I just want it? ..........
Thats a thin line, but if we can make a decision on this it will reduce a lot of junk (and save money)
Vicky said…
Awesome! You just made me feel better about my last shopping experience :) I walked away empty handed. I didn't need it or desire to part with my paycheck. I debated several items. But I felt like maybe I was just being too picky. Now I actually feel better... thanks for that!
But, but, but . . . I DO need that vintage locket. If I don't salvage it what will happen to it? LOL

Now, the chocolate chip cookie -- mmmm don't really need that, but I sure do want it!
Delena said…
I dislike shopping so that sure helps impulse buying. I make a list, and trophy dash into the stores as fast as I can. My husband loves to window shop. I do buy on line but there are times when I have to tell my husband to sit on his hands as he can be really dangerous on ebay! Good post.
Marian said…
this is great food for thought.fab post!
xx
marian
beth said…
we are either there or have all been there at some point in our lives...

I think age makes a huge difference...in my late 30's I changed and had more of a "whatever attitude"....

I think my family likes me better now :)
Anonymous said…
You have really great taste on catch article titles, even when you are not interested in this topic you push to read it

Popular Posts