Monday, March 08, 2010

What people who talk about instant gratification in relation to the Internet don't mention

Or don't know about or don't think is important, is that it didn't start with the internet. Television is instant gratification too. Think about it; you can turn on the TV at any time of the day or night and find a program on, and if you don't like the program you can change the channel to another one that hopefully has something interesting on. No one charges you for this, unless you have cable, and even then the service isn't pay per view. You can watch it for as long as you want, as many days a week as you want. Compare this to having to buy tickets to see shows, to either going to the movies or going to plays and concerts. The situation that we have today is saturated with instant gratification. I would argue that the internet's gratification standard is an extension of the gratification gotten from the now 'old media'. Sure, there are some aspects of life on the internet that aren't completely codified as being about consumption while being oriented towards instant gratification, like Google, with knowledge at our finger tips feeding gratification, but it seems to me that sites about stars and about life styles, and about buying stuff proliferate while the non-traditional instant gratification stagnates. It would be interesting to see where in fact people go on their internet journeying, to find some studies that talk about it. I'm sure there are tons. In any case the 'net didn't start the fire, it was burning since the tube started turning on.

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