Instant gratification: blessing or misery

How many times have we shared a picture on social media and felt pride on every like and comment we get? Filled a quiz to get flattering results about our personality? Shared a post to get something in return? Felt happy on getting the desired results instantly?

Every time we did, we went through a process called Instant Gratification. The phenomenon dictates that humans love getting immediate outcome or reward following an action. Though gratification has been a human need since long; in recent times, the advent of social media has conditioned people to get immediate response, without putting in much efforts.

Biologically speaking, instant gratification triggers our brain to release certain chemical, notorious as the pleasure and reward hormone. Researchers have discovered that release of such chemicals is a motivation to repeat the behavior that was rewarded. When it becomes an obsession, this repetition can be equated with addiction. 

As the world becomes fast paced, the need for instant gratification has increased. We now have reached the point where we feel we are deprived of what was rightfully ours if there is a delay between action and the appraisal. We are so used to instant everything, that delays are seen as a punishment.

As a consequence, the actual value of gratification has been replaced by countable units, such as Likes, Shares, Thumbs up signs etc. There is a constant race of who collects more of it. The greater the number of times we can claim to be rewarded, the better we feel about ourselves.

This has impacted the overall mental development of our children as well. They start believing that any delay or absence of gratification is a failure, causing them to lose hope or interest at very early stage learning process. The rate of depression among children is on rise due to this perceived failure.

With the constant yearning for immediate gratification on actions, the true value of satisfaction is lost altogether for us. We are much more interested in getting impressions on social media for the pictures of our food and cute pets rather than enjoying our time with them.

This article first appeared at

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