Instant Gratification

One of the things that’s weighed heavily on my mind is the defeat of my discipline throughout the day thanks to things such as the internet and my smartphone. Each morning I get up and the first thing that I grab is my phone to check the time ,and then I go on to Youtube to see what my subscriptions have posted. I usually scroll through most of the videos ,and then I find one that sticks out and I watch it and then the avalanche of videos follow. It’s not hard to say no to watching videos ,and it just feels so much better to succumb to sitting in my bathroom doing absolutely nothing but watch videos and play games on my phone for over an hour. Sadly, it’s become part of my routine during the summer. Last week, I woke up, grabbed my phone, started watching a video and then fell asleep again. The whole cycle is messed up but I still find myself following the same routine everyday.

Since getting my first Apple product in high school and then a computer before college, I find that the internet and all of its contents, in particular streaming videos, have become very addictive. It seems very harmless at first, watching a five-minute clip and then hours later you realize you spent your whole afternoon on the internet and saw a whole lot of nothing. Thanks to the internet, a sense of instant gratification has evolved. Fewer and fewer people, including myself, have enough patience to cultivate a productive workday. We’re too impatient to sit all day reading the same book or doing the same activity.

Yesterday, I started to really study for the PCAT, a test needed to get into pharmacy school. It took me a while to read two passages. It took me the rest of the day to actually analyze my mistakes and the passage. The internet slowed me down. I couldn’t focus on a boring passage about the economy or supernovas when there’s a billion more interesting things to see on the web. Every time I read a question, I couldn’t help but pick up my phone and look at something useless. Picking up the phone and mindlessly taping away at an app is so much more comforting than having to deal with the worry that comes with doing well on standardized testing.

Doing something to further my education and career goals is often very scary and something I want to think very little about. Watching an aimless video about someone else’s life is a way to escape from that worry and not think about my own life and the long journey ahead. However, it is important that I know that this instant sense of comfort will in no way translate into bettering my own life and at the end of the day, it adds on to the cycle of worry as I go to bed when I think about all the things that I wasn’t able to accomplish because I was on the internet all day. Thus the cycle of internet surfing continues once again the next day to forget about the failures of the previous day.

Now as I get to the nitty gritty of how I feel, I want nothing more than to pick up my phone and scroll through my apps because this has gotten too real. But, alas, I should remind myself that instant gratification found in a funny video won’t compare to the feeling of success after a hard day of work.

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