I’ve been reflecting a lot on patience, impatience and instant gratification. I was born in 1985. Back in the day I had to wait for things, there was no such thing as instant gratification. Specially because we lived in a gated community in the outsides of the city. Going to town to buy anything involved quite a long drive, so getting anything we wanted involved waiting.
We didn’t have cable. My meals were made from scratch. There were no computers, iPads and iPhones. There was a lot of waiting involved. This didn’t exactly make me a patient person. However, I do have to acknowledge that there was a certain beauty about not having things instantly.
Scarce Entertainment Promoted Our Creativity
My sisters and I would get bored easily, just like any child. However, entertainment didn’t come as easy as it does now, by simply clicking the bottom of an electronic device. We didn’t even had cable, so TV was pretty boring to watch.
We had to use our imaginations to keep ourselves entertained. We created games, my sister wrote poetry at the age of 7 and I would spend endless summer days exploring the immense land field behind my house. Not having instant entertainment promoted our creativity.
Music Was Amazing
Do you have a favorite song? Do you still jump out of your seat when you listen to it on the radio? I bet you don’t because you probably have a USB cable to your phone so you can play your favorite song any time you want. You’re probably tired of listening to your favorite song because you’ve heard it endless times. You find a song you like and in a few days you no longer like it because you’ve listen to it so many times in such a short time.
This was probably one of those unexpected happy moments on an ordinary day back in the good old days. Having your favorite song play on the radio unexpectedly. Cars back then didn’t even had a CD player, they had tape players and if you wanted to hear your favorite song you had to rewind, which was a hustle, because sometimes you would rewind too much and it became hard to find it. But listening to it on the radio, was listening to angels singing.
You Had to Wait A LOT to See if Your Crush Liked You
By the time a became a teenager there were computers and Internet. However, there was still no social media. Of course I had crushes, but their private lives were a mystery to me. I didn’t spend countless nights lurking around to see who’s pictures they were liking, or who followed them on social media, or if they were liking my pictures. Of course I wondered, who does he like? But there was no way of knowing except the entertaining gossip in the school’s halls. Heck! Texting wasn’t even a thing back then, and cell phone calls were extremely expensive. I had to wait for my crush to call my land-line. Everything was slower, but it was also much more entertaining.
Food Took Longer to Make but It Was Healthier
Yes! We had a microwave, but it was rarely used. My mother took the time to make our meals from scratch, with real vegetables that were bought freshly. Food took more time to make than simply putting it in the microwave and heating it for a few minutes, but it was healthier, and family dinners involved conversations, not smartphones.
Even If a Movie Was Bad We Enjoyed It
There was no Netflix, Amazon or ITunes. There was a Blockbuster that was about a 40-minute drive from my house. Some Saturdays my dad would drive us there so we could choose a few films for the weekend. It was fun! It was a ritual of going to get ice-cream, choosing the movie, going to buy candy and then have the thrill of wondering how good would the movie be!
Of course many times they sucked! But we finished watching them anyway because it was that or spend a boring Saturday night using our imaginations again. So we just enjoyed it for the sake of it.
In today’s times sometimes a movie might be good, but we click-through them so fast that we don’t even give them a chance. We just want to be entertained and we want it now!
You Had Time to Reflect
Maybe I’m not the only one who has said some things they regretted simply because communication is “easier”.
When I was young if I got into a fight with a friend, I couldn’t just text her or call her on her cell-phone to tell her a piece of my mind. No one was that reachable. I had to wait! I had to wait to call her land-line and see if she was home so I could talk to her.
Many times this waiting helped me cool down and reflect on things. It prevented me from saying some pretty nasty things.
Pictures Were Special
Taking a picture involved a film role, you had a set number of pictures you could take because printing them was quite expensive. However, this made each picture mostly memorable. It also involved dropping the roles in a lab and waiting days for them to be ready. It was exiting sitting down and going through them for the first time.
Now you take a picture and look at it once and save it in the cloud without cherishing the complexity involved in possessing that one picture.