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Ponder Session: Instant Gratification and Your Brain

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It's funny to think about how antsy and bored we get when we don't have stimuli 24/7. We need to be watching a movie, reading a book, playing a video game, or on our phones to not be totally driven mad by inactivity. Most of us probably can't even just sit and listen to music without doing something else at the same time. 

And this isn't just younger generations, so we can't even say it's a generational thing. My mom gets bored so easily these days, and she didn't have half the technology growing up that we have these days. People get bored easily because it's a learned behavior.

The nature of instant gratification has shaped our brains in a way that leaves us unsatisfied if we aren't consuming some kind of content, games, media, etc. Even when you go out with friends, you'll never see a group of people go an entire night without touching their phones looking for some kind of gratification outside of their immediate surroundings. We're just too easily connected to the whole world around us that it's hard to resist the pull of that when we have it so easily at our fingertips.

So food for thought as we're finding ourselves with so much extra downtime: try to slow down a bit. Take a night where you just lay on the floor and really lose yourself in an album. Sit outside on your back porch and actually watch a sunset. Skype with your friends and family but try to avoid touching your phone or getting distracted by other things for the whole duration of the call.

Maybe we as people really needed an excuse to slow down this whole time.

Image from Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash.