Instant gratification – is it worth it?

Driving along the highway today, there was an accident on the side of the road. There were three people in business suits standing by their wrecked cars talking on their cell phones. Behind them was a huge Jaguar/Mercedes dealership. I drove by, glanced over, and it just seemed weird. I mean the whole cell phone thing. Yeah, it’s convenient, but sometimes I have to wonder if it’s really worth it. Had this been twenty years ago, perhaps those men would have had to enter that dealership for help … to use a telephone. Forced to interact with others during their plight, who knows what fate could have had in store for them? Maybe they would have even made a lifelong friend from the experience … or two. There are endless possibilities that might have occurred from that accident. Instead they stand there speaking on their cell phones … segregated from humanity. I’m left wondering if maybe technology keeps us from experiencing what we deserve.

it’s difficult not to get caught up in the whirlwind, to feel centered and really know what’s impor-tant in life

I was in the mall and walked past two girls who were shopping together and each on their cell phones talking to someone else. Not to mention all the people on the road who are fighting with lovers, talking about business or just bullshitting on the phone while driving 20 miles an hour. I disconnected my cell phone over a year ago and guess what, I lived. Yes, sometimes it’s a pain in the ass but not as much as the responsibility of having one.

This whole thing got me thinking even more. Are we ever alone? Without TV, without music, without each other, phones, computers, etc. Sometimes I get so caught up in it all myself. Instant gratification. I get pissed if the gas machine tells me to see the cashier and I have to actually walk inside instead of using my credit card. Then I feel like an asshole because I can remember when that wasn’t a luxury that we had. I get pissed at the old lady who’s driving slowly in front of me and meanwhile, she’s probably in her car terrified of traffic and I’ll be there too someday.

I haven’t had TV for almost a year now. Wow, that can suck when you need a distraction. Especially if your going through a break up or other emotionally draining experience. I find that when I have TV, I turn it on all the time. It becomes a habit and I spend many nights of my life watching someone else live in a fake world. But it’s not just technology that gives us instant gratification. I mean look at relationships these days. If they don’t give you what you need you get divorced. Easy as pie. Shit, you buy the papers at an office supply store. Isn’t that fucked up? Women feel they need to go and get breast enlargements to have self-esteem, men get hair implants and it goes on and on. Everyone is just hoping that they will be more to someone than just an instant gratification. I’ve lived in a city all my life except for one year I moved into the mountains. What a difference. I’m back in the city now, and it’s difficult not to get caught up in the whirlwind – to feel centered and really know what’s important in life. I know these are just thoughts and people may think I’m a fucking weirdo but I’m grateful for these thoughts. I’d hate to be the person that can’t get in the car without calling someone, who has to have plastic surgery to know they’re beautiful, who watches TV shows all night almost every night, who goes from relationship to relationship because they’re too insecure with themselves, and who has to be on the computer until 4:00 in the morning because they can’t sleep naturally.

At the same time, I’m on a computer right now writing from my soul and telling my thoughts to people I don’t know and will never meet, but am also connected to in some way. I have seen people fall in love over the internet, cell phones save lives, breast enlargements help mastectomy patients. I’ve seen a TV show lighten someone’s spirit who was crying so hard inside, they might have lost all hope. I’ve seen a failed relationship open the door to a new wonderful one. I guess it’s all just perspective — And of course, moderation. I will tell you this: thoughts like these keep you real … but only if you listen to them.

Sun See all posts by this author
is an artist and writer.
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