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Instant Gratification: The Loss of a Virtue

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Remember when you heard the latest song on the radio and you had to sit and wait for hours for it to be played again? Or the feeling as you tore open that new CD because you’d waited so long for it to come out? Now think way back to how you set the timer on your VCR to record the season finale of your favorite show because if you missed it there was no way to watch it again. Do you remember how you felt after finally getting what you’d been waiting for? Now jump back into the present. Seems like ancient history right?

Most of us don’t have to wait for many things anymore. Society has developed a “the faster the better” attitude which has caused its members to become impatient. We despise waiting and would much rather receive everything instantaneously. Instant coffee, instant messages, and instant gratification, we want it all and we want it now.

So what if it took years for our economy to reach this terrible state? President Obama needs to fix it now. Who cares if there is a long line of customers ahead of me? I want my caramel frappuccino now. Excuse me? You’re putting me on hold? I don’t think so; I want to be assisted now.

Do you see how ugly impatience is? And it continues to spread it ugliness in various forms. Instead of waiting, many Americans download a CD’s tracks way before its release date. Who goes to the movies nowadays when you can easily download the film in the convenience of your own home? And let’s not get started on cooking; no one has time for that anymore. According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Americans spend about $100 billion on fast food every year. No wonder you can’t drive every couple of blocks without seeing a McDonald’s.

But why? What is so unappealing about waiting? Where is the harm in standing in a line at the grocery store over using the self-checkout or waiting for your professor to post last week’s exam scores as opposed to sending him or her emails every couple of days? Does getting everything quickly ensure satisfaction? Because I eliminated the wait time, am I guaranteed happiness?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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