Feature: Parenting

Delay Gratification? NO WAY!

Author: Lorraine Esposito
Published: September 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Help Kids Play!The message about instant gratification may have gotten an unhealthy social update by rap star Drake.  Kids and young adults are adopting his Motto as an excuse for recklessness, “You only live once: that’s the motto [explicative] YOLO.” 

“When I see “YOLO” in a tweet, I know instantly that something unintelligent and cocky is going to follow.”  Robyn Dexter, campus editor of the Eastern Illinois University’s Daily Eastern News

Seems it’s becoming more important that we get this whole instant gratification/ YOLO thing straight for our kids—and ourselves.

Here’s the truth:  No one delays gratification.

That’s right, no one delays gratification.  When you stop yourself from eating a donut, you’re rewarded with temporary sacrifice gratification.  When sacrifice no longer gratifies enough you eat the donut.

                         Not eating donut = gratification
                                  Eating donut = gratification

Back in the old days . . .

Technology shouldn’t be blamed for the ruin of our attention spans.  Bah! to any suggestion of virtue for waiting for snail mail or rotary dialing a telephone.  We’ve always moved at the fastest possible pace.  Instant gratification has always been important it’s just that technology keeps redefining the meaning of “instant.”

  • The Pony Express defined “instant” communication in 1860 by the number of days to carry mail across the country (averaging 12 to 14 days)
  • In 1927 instant gratification meant the 14 minutes it took to place a call from New York to London
  • The 1980s saw the 1G analog network redefine “instant” into 9 kilobytes per second—roughly one encyclopedia page per second.
  • Then comes 3G and 4G digital networks claiming to increase “instant” to as much as 9 megabytes per second—the collected works of Shakespeare is 5 megabytes.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Lorraine Esposito

Lorraine Esposito is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Mentor Coach, nationally recognized author, and coach training instructor for the world’s largest coach training organization. She has been featured in broadcast, print, and online media and …

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