Adults who cannot identify with the millennial generation always try to say younger generations are lazy and lack a real work ethic. They pride themselves on what they describe as 100-hour workweeks with no breaks, their long walks to school (if your parents are foreign there was probably some mention of snow), and their written letters to loved ones. They tell us how much more interactive life was when the cell phone was put down at the dinner table and "Facebooking” didn’t exist. They preach to us how the true essence of fun lies outdoors, and not in our rooms with our Netflix and video games.
Times have obviously changed; technology is definitely to blame. Yet rather than hard workers, has this changed society produced a mass of average people? Or are we just more efficient?
We are the generation contingent on instant gratification. Now, what does that mean? Well, in short, “we want what we want, and we want it NOW.” While that is contrary to almost everything we’ve been taught—delayed gratification—we have an inherent desire to have what we want and have it instantly.
But can you blame us?
We do not remember a time without microwaves, iPhones, instant hot water, Facebook, Myspace; you name it, we got it. We live in a day and age where you do not have to leave your home for ANYTHING. You can literally order your groceries to your front door. I mean, if you want the newest, coolest restaurant's sandwich delivered to your front door, Post mates has you covered (not to mention, they have competitors, so you've got options). Through your fingertips you have access to all the world's information— why even use a book, right?
Phones these days have apps for almost anything your heart could possible desire. It does not matter where you are, or what time it is—if you need to get home (or anywhere for that matter), Uber has your back with a ride. You can buy a new wardrobe and meet your significant other online, at the same time.
Now this culture, like all things, has two sides. People either reach a false realization that everything in life is instant and easy, or people become more efficient.
And when people are used to getting what they want AND they are more efficient, what happens...?
Technological innovation is a part of our evolution, and that is what has contributed to our culture of instant gratification. Behind all these products and devices are people from this generation—and ideas. Ideas that were executed and are now coined.
I would argue that the older generations are wrong. The instant gratification culture has indeed burned the appreciation for strenuous work, yet the amount of ideas and opportunities it has bred into society is evident. People may not have to work as hard in all aspects. While they may still have to push themselves in some, they will be efficient in others.
This generation still has to work hard, just in different ways. Perhaps the instant gratification they have learned and adapted to has instigated a sense of perseverance. It is not necessarily that this generation will try and when the gratification is not instant, they will give up. Rather, they will try and try again until they can find a means to make the gratification instant.