Sunday, May 17, 2009

Instant Gratification

The other day Emma and I were in the car, driving to the store. We had the radio on and after a song finished, she asked me to put on a particular song. I told her that I didn't have my iPod with me, but she insisted. I chuckled a little and told her that I couldn't control what plays on the radio like that. Not 3 minutes later, she asked me to put the song on again. At first I was a little frustrated. She is only 5, but it seems like she's able to understand so many things. I started thinking about it, and realized that there's really no reason why this situation would be a concept she understands after all. We have a TiVo at home where we can instantly put on a TV show that the kids want, iPods at home or in the car where we can instantly put on a song the kids like... they're used to it! They are so used to it that they don't understand in the rare times that we can't make it just happen. My frustration melted away into a feeling of disappointment in myself.

Instant gratification is something that I struggle with. Nearly all of my big purchases have been made in a hurry because I was spurred on by the want to have it now, not later. For most of those purchases, I've had regrets. I get so caught up in the excitement that everything else pales in comparison. Don't get me wrong, I'd say that in most instances I would have still gone ahead at some point at made the purchase, but in some cases I may not have had I just taken the time to cool down a bit.

Taking it a step further, I think about the lack of patience that I have on nearly a daily basis. I want to get something done, for my day to go my way... Sometimes I get upset, but most of the time it just frustrates me internally and sours my mood for a little while. Almost always it ruins whatever opportunity I had to enjoy the good that I could have experienced at the time.

I like our gadgets. I like how modern stuff seems to make life easier. I don't see how I could ever become a luddite and I think I am too much of a geek to really ever change even a little bit. I do enjoy being able to immediately stream the next episode of Lost to my computer as soon as I'm done with the previous one! But, it's thoughts like these that make me wonder if it's really all worth it. It's at least worth it to find ways to teach our kids that some things are worth waiting for.


Unknown said...

wow, the things a 5 year old can make you think about. You can also think that they don't know much about cash and just say use your debit card when I say we don't have the money for it this month. I think this is something I need to think about too. Sorry if my post doesn't make much sense I am under a lot of prescribed medications right now and kinda out of it.

Let me guess the song she wanted was The Climb by Miley Cyrus?

Unknown said...

or was it the Howedown Throwdown by Hannah Montana, whatever the name of that song is. I know it had to be one of the two

Bonnie said...

I remember when I realized as a kid that my parents didn't have TV remotes growing up. It seemed so weird to think that they'd gone without this basic everyday convenience. I'm amazed to think about the many things our kids' generation will take for granted - even the Internet and cell phones - it's weird for me to even think that I didn't use either of those on a regular basis before college. It's amazing how fast I went from that to relying on just a cell phone and using the Internet for all kinds of things. I wonder what the next big (or little) development is going to be that their generation won't be able to live without.