C Magazine

The Impatient Generation

C Magazine observes how the advancement of digital services and experiences is altering younger generations’ aptitude for patience, and its effect on their lives and futures.

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The Impatient Generation

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Patience is a virtue and one backed by research. Studies have found that juveniles who demonstrate greater levels of patience go on to live more successful, fulfilling lives. Although, with the quick advancement of digital services and experiences, instant gratification can be easily obtained. With a couple of taps, one can catch a ride instantly, order meals from innumerable cuisines or watch an entire television series seamlessly. Though it may seem quite convenient to have immediate access to so many desires, this is not a realistic expectation of how more important and lasting things in life will be achieved.

The reality is that the most important, life-defining moments and accomplishments will require hard work, persistence and a lot of patience. Younger generations are becoming far too accustomed to receiving things instantaneously with little to no effort. According to psychologist Sherrie Campbell, “to be successful, we need patience when it comes to employee relations, business negotiations and communications, as well as achievement of the strategic goals we’ve set.” Our generation’s current expectation that everything will come instantly and easily will only prevent us from being equipped with the patience required to be successful in our future working lives.

Our generation is more impatient than any other generation before it. The world of devices and services is constantly advancing with evermore powerful apps that increase how much we depend on instant gratification, creating an “at your fingertips” experience that we are deeply immersed in. When our phones glitch for a few seconds, our package comes a day late or we are put on hold, we struggle to keep our calm.

Many users do not realize the value of patience, and that like any skill, it requires practice. Campbell believes that “patience develops excellence” and “talent is long-earned patience.” The practice of patience is exercised through something as simple as waiting in line without getting frustrated or anxious. This gives the opportunity to enjoy one’s surroundings.

Important life experiences come from the challenging pace and difficulty of education at Paly. We have a plethora of challenging classes, including honors and APs, that encourage us to push ourselves to our full academic potential. We are granted the opportunity to work towards discovering the most efficient way for ourselves to learn and succeed. However, these parts of our lives don’t happen overnight or with the push of a button. Challenges at Paly take many months of persistence, hard work and patience. Due to the fact that we are so used to the feeling of instant gratification, it is common for students to want to zoom through their homework to just “get it done” instead of trying to truly comprehend the information. This approach ultimately impacts long-term success and abilities when facing future challenges.

Looking beyond Paly, expectations will only increase, demanding even more persistence and patience. Meanwhile, our addiction to instant gratification is only continuing to multiply. In the future, personal and professional projects will increase in volume and complexity, requiring a much higher level of persistence, resilience and patience. Campbell also believes that “being patient, then, increases our chances of achieving what we want.” Since it will be nearly impossible to complete a task instantly, it will be a greater challenge for our generation to see tasks through and achieve the desired reward. Not only will our expectations of immediate gratification affect what we accomplish in our occupations, but they could also potentially affect our future personal lives. Keeping close friendships and maintaining a healthy and happy marriage takes a tremendous amount of patience. Raising kids requires patience lasting throughout decades. If we are getting anxious and frustrated while having to wait for videos to load or packages to arrive, how can we expect to beat these far greater challenges?

Despite the fact that these services and experiences are making our lives easier today, we need to think ahead, considering who we want to be in the future. The more attached we become to the services that provide us with the feeling of instant gratification, the more we will expect everything in our lives to become instant. Eliminating our usage of these apps is not the answer, but our generation does need to be mindful of both how often we use these services, as well as how they are affecting who we are as individuals. It is important for us to learn to be okay with waiting during times that move at slower paces because services will continue to advance and become more accessible which will only further our generations impatience. Although in some aspects we will benefit greatly from these advancements, it is also crucial for us to be aware of how we are being affected by our surrounding environment that is continuously changing and advancing.

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