Access to gratification is becoming increasingly convenient, so much so that we have come to need it. We have this desire to feel something. Anything. It’s more than just being entertained and having something to do; it’s a dull, full-body craving that seeks stimulation. We quench this desire when we pick up that coffee in the morning, or when we turn up the volume dial, or when we get home from work, pour a glass of wine and eat too much pizza.
According to The Futures Company’s 2014 Global MONITOR, 51% of Americans agree: “I am always looking for new experiences and sensations that will liven up my everyday activities.” Proof can be found in any convenience store: energy drinks have been given more space in refrigerators, a wall of tobacco still lingers behind checkout counters, and scary-looking bags of pills that say “HYpeR ENrgy BOOST extREME” sit beside empty penny bowls.
This goes beyond food and caffeine. In 2013, 7.3% of Americans regularly used marijuana, up from 5.8% in 2007. Abuse of ADHD medication has also been making headlines in recent years, as students turn to the pills to help them feel awake.
This any-time availability of satisfaction is leaving us fat, caffeinated, and indulging in excess.
Image credit: Vladimer Shioshvili via Flickr