The Internet has made our lives seemingly instantaneous. Thinking about buying a pair of rain boots? Violà! A newsletter catches your eye to simplify your purchase decision. Want to watch that movie you remember from the early ´90s? Amazon’s instant video makes it possible.
Our world is so convenient. We can reach for almost anything and it’s in the mail the next day.
We have unlearned the art of patience.
When I was a kid, I would pester my mother about when my mail-order doll furniture would arrive. It took weeks upon weeks. And the joy of receiving that package was indescribable when my desire was finally satiated.
My kids don’t have that level of delayed gratification. Thanks to the speed of their world, waiting has become something Godot does – not them.
Yet our collective internal composition still relies on a world of dreams. We dream of things that aren’t easily reached, which is in direct contrast to our virtual reality of instant everything.
Realizing Big Dreams takes time, but our concept of time has been altered greatly by the compression of it in our 24/7 world. We wonder why we feel slightly (or enormously) dissatisfied. We scamper from one thing to the next in the hopes that this feeling will go away. And the more we shove it deep down into ourselves, the bigger the feeling becomes.
It isn’t easy to teach my kids the beauty of waiting for something they really want. But values such as gratitude and appreciation are just as important as in our pre-Internet Age. Maybe even more so now.
My daughter recently thanked me for making her earn the money for her own laptop. She realizes now how hard work adds to the pleasure of having earned her own way.
The Internet isn’t going away. Neither will our dreams if we swaddle them in that protective coating of love for the time it takes to achieve them.