Instant …… just add water
Foolishly, I took my children aged 13 and 10 to the theatre to see a dramatisation of their favourite book. An absolute bestseller all over the world, translated into many languages, read by children and adults, etc. etc. The dramatization itself had received awards, rave reviews and so as a special treat I booked theatre tickets and my children were very excited about it.
We arrived at the theatre and were lingering in the foyer waiting for the first bell. I browsed through the brochures about plays, comedy festivals etc. My children couldn’t understand it. ‘Why are we waiting here?’ ‘This is all online, mum.’ ‘Why are you taking these brochures? Take a photo…’
Finally, we went in and our seats were in an excellent spot. But they were a bit stiff and velvety as old theatre seats generally are, they did not recline and they certainly did not have cupholders. Nevertheless my offspring made themselves comfortable after some initial squirming. They did not admire the old-fashioned moulded and painted ceiling, the big, dark velvet curtains, the other people who were being seated or even the ushers dressed so formally in black and white. They took selfies with tickets in hand, ‘posted’ them and then, just slumped in their seats till the play began.
At the end of the play they clapped enthusiastically, they had loved every minute of it! But they got restless as the actors kept coming up for curtain calls. They didn’t have the patience to wait to leave the theatre and at first I got really annoyed but then I realised, this is the instant gratification population: my children, most people and I.
Their games, movies and TV shows can now begin ‘on demand’. They shop for most things from any country they want, any time they want, most of the times at really good prices. They even read stories and articles that can be downloaded in a few minutes. This is a generation that is efficient but impatient. They have never had to wait, for letters from their best friend away on holiday, from grandparents on the other side of the world, for photos to develop from film, for new issues of magazines to hit the newsstand, for curtain calls at the theatre. But where does this ‘non-waiting’ end? No longer do I need to save for the latest phone, a sofa, a big screen TV or a car. All this is easily and instantly available on ‘a plan’ or instalments often with zero interest!
So, if my children were starting out, got a great job earning good money, they could rent a house and furnish it completely within a weekend with the latest gadgets and furniture, all on these plans and instalments. They would have everything that I foolishly saved up for and acquired over decades. But what if the great paying job was suddenly lost? They would have no job, no house and no ‘stuff’ as they call it. What then? Go back to the parents with their old-fashioned camera film?
Anyways, you can ponder that. I have to go now and read notifications and alerts. I have also signed up for the instant ageing package that will soon be available so I won’t have to suffer gradually unbending knees, swelling knuckles, breathlessness, fatigue, slowing down in general. I would simply order ageing online and download it whenever required.