INSTANT GRATIFICATION

Written by the_chelf@yahoo.gr

We need to feel good and we need it now.

It all started when I stumbled upon a hashtag that caught my eye.

#tellagirlshesbeautiful

It was meant to be empowering, pro-feminism and good.

But somehow I was sceptical of the whole concept, and I was a tiny bit triggered.

Instant rewards, Instagram likes, frantic Tweets and collecting likes, thumbs up and little red hearts so instant gratification has become our go-to dopamine substitute.

Being told you are beautiful is undoubtedly flattering and naturally always welcomed when said with respect.

But let’s take a moment to think how much of our confidence and self-assurance comes from social media likes and follows.

It’s fast, it’s easy, addictive, it takes place in real-time and requires little to no patience. Post a cute picture-done!

In most psychological models, humans are believed to act upon the “pleasure principle.”

The pleasure principle is basically the driving force that compels human beings to gratify their needs, wants, and urges. These needs, wants, and urges can be as basic as the need to breathe, eat, or drink.

But they can be as complex as the “need” for an iPhone 20 or an inbox full of compliments.

We act and we receive the reactions. The reactive communication available to most of us through technology and social media is a useful tool if used wisely. Communicating is good. Communicating effortlessly is even better. Receiving feedback and constructive criticism is also good. When it’s instantaneous, even better.

But the human brain is a complex little thing that pursues constant gratification and seeks all sorts of feel-good factors like there’s no tomorrow.

So when we get a heart response, we like it and we feel good. Is it quick and impulsive?

YES.

Do we take a moment to contemplate on that?

NO.

Why would we since it feels so good?

But in the long run, this brief satisfaction leads to an erosion of patience and lack of substantial confidence based on real, hard-earned facts.

(No, sparkly snapchat filters do not count as such, put the phone down please.)

Can we even tell the difference between the value of a copy-paste comment of admiration on Facebook and real life?

The later takes time. It takes time for people to get to actually know the real you and comment on the unfiltered you.

The instant gratification rush of excitement is a quick fix that will not actually fix anything.

Quantifying likes and having #tellagirlshesbeautiful days will not fix anything either. It fades away and leaves an emptiness behind, it’s a loop.

Disclaimer: Some of the most meaningful and substantial relationships I have today are with people that I met online. But those are not based on Facebook likes and hearts (although there are a lot of memes involved, believe me…)

Here’s my post about Virtual Bonds, in case you’d like to take a look.

Maybe once again seeking a healthy balance, to the best of our ability is the way to go.

Don’t use social media less.

Use it more intentionally.

Engage with genuine people who inspire and motivate you instead of mindlessly scrolling counting liked and story views.

Establishing solid foundations and most importantly avoiding the trap of building our confidence on a meaningless number of followers and likes is what we should all be focusing on.

So maybe next time let’s not just tell a girl she’s beautiful.

  Maybe convince her that her beauty and self-worth does not derive from hashtags and little yellow wowed faces.

Until the next one,

2 thoughts on “INSTANT GRATIFICATION

  1. It’s so true, everyone is competing for those likes and it isn’t healthy. I like the idea of being more intentional on social media. I’ll admit, I’m bad about it. I have so much going on that I have a lot more time to click like and move on than write an intentional comment.

    • the_chelf@yahoo.gr says:

      I feel ya! We all go through that stage, but the moment we realize it we are on the right track 😉

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