Instant gratification

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Instant gratification

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:59 pm

A continuation of one of the discussions in this thread: http://iamfortress.forumotion.com/t14p15-sexualization-of-children

@Panache wrote:
@Admin wrote:It reminds me, it's ironic that as people who don't want sex, we may be told we're boring and don't have anything to live for, but people who are constantly seeking sex, and obsessed with it, and don't seem to have any other interests, aren't seen as the boring ones?
Absolutely. People who are caught up in an addictive process, can't fathom what life would be like without it. They think they'd want to die if they couldn't have X anymore. But from the perspective of an outsider who's not tipsy or in love or taking drugs, it's obvious there's no real substance there; it's all about the high. We hopefully get our meaning in life from things other than instant gratification.

The "boring" thing reminds me of another Aldous Huxley quote: "Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery." The way eating an apple is just so not worth it when there's the possibility of eating a piece of cake instead; the supranormal stimulus of a high desensitizes people to actual pleasures, so people who are living more temperately get a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from things that are boring and stupid when you're just waiting for your next high.

It also seems to me that finding things boring is not exactly a lack of stimulation, but a lack of consciousness or awareness. A yogi can be completely absorbed sitting alone in an empty room; someone else can be eating pizza and drinking coke and watching TV while texting somebody and with friends all around and still be bored.

Those are great examples! I agree that all of the emphasis on instant gratification desensitizes people to what happiness is, in the same kind of manner that addictive stimuli diminish natural reinforcement, but consciousness or awareness, or the lack of is also a crucial factor: appreciation for pleasures vs. taking them for granted.

I have some questions for anyone to answer: Aside from not having sex, do you also abstain from other behaviors often associated with instant gratification, like alcohol and gambling? If yes, do you think they're related, that abstaining from one behavior influenced your abstaining from others, or is seeking instant gratification still a struggle, just in different ways?
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Re: Instant gratification

Post by SCH0206 on Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:05 pm

I abstain from alcohol and gambling.  I don't judge those who do, but I wouldn't want anyone pressuring me into engaging in those activities.  (Because of my hermit loner lifestyle, outside pressure from others is something that I deal with on a rare basis, thank goodness.)

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Re: Instant gratification

Post by Panache on Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:48 am

I don’t have a problem with instant gratification in and of itself, if the activity is harmless or beneficial. If I wanted to take a bath or read a book and I were in a position to do that if I liked, I wouldn’t see any point in delaying doing so arbitrarily. However, I have a problem with instant gratification when the behavior is harmful or addictive (actually, since addictive processes cause brain damage, I can probably just lump it all in as “harmful”), and the person is ignoring the long-term, and sometimes even more immediate, consequences of their actions in favor of feeling good right now, for a little while. I try, to the best of my knowledge, to avoid doing those sorts of things, and to look for more adaptive coping mechanisms when I’m feeling bad.
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Re: Instant gratification

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:08 pm

@SCH0206 wrote:I abstain from alcohol and gambling.  I don't judge those who do, but I wouldn't want anyone pressuring me into engaging in those activities.  (Because of my hermit loner lifestyle, outside pressure from others is something that I deal with on a rare basis, thank goodness.)

That's good that you don't deal with much pressure from others! I've never dealt with, or seen others be pressured into gambling, but I've seen others be pressured into drinking more alcohol than they can. It's a problem enough when people are pressured to drink alcohol, but it's even worse when people are pressured to drink past their limits!

@Panache wrote:I don’t have a problem with instant gratification in and of itself, if the activity is harmless or beneficial. If I wanted to take a bath or read a book and I were in a position to do that if I liked, I wouldn’t see any point in delaying doing so arbitrarily. However, I have a problem with instant gratification when the behavior is harmful or addictive (actually, since addictive processes cause brain damage, I can probably just lump it all in as “harmful”), and the person is ignoring the long-term, and sometimes even more immediate, consequences of their actions in favor of feeling good right now, for a little while. I try, to the best of my knowledge, to avoid doing those sorts of things, and to look for more adaptive coping mechanisms when I’m feeling bad.

Good point. I'm guilty of seeking instant gratification in some ways; some websites I visit several times a day. Sometimes when I don't feel like doing anything productive at home, I often just read stuff online, but at least some of it's informative in some way, though I end up feeling guilty over not being as productive as I'd like to be. I agree that the root of the issue is when someone seeks instant gratification over any regard for the consequences.

Could too much instant gratification, even it's not the harmful kind, still lead to people being more bored and desensitized to what happiness is?
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Re: Instant gratification

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