The Dangers of Instant Gratification

Our culture is obsessed with instant gratification. Once we know what we want, we will try to get it as soon as we possibly can. Fast food, microwavable meals, online streaming, free two day shipping, and on demand video are all popular because they satisfy our desire for instant gratification. This desire for instant gratification goes well beyond out shopping habits and impacts how many of us approach activism. We want to see results, and we want to see them quickly.

This approach to activism is admirable and many people have benefited from it, but there are drawbacks. It is possible to become so focused on fixing a perceived wrong we can fail to fully consider all of the consequences for our actions. This is particularly true in regards to the issue of climate change.

Enforcing greater regulations on businesses may sound like a great way to cut down on pollution and help out the environment, but the consequences of these regulations may do more harm than good. More regulations on business will drive up the cost of operation, and many businesses will be unable to cope. Some businesses will close their doors, and the people who relied upon them for their livelihood will find themselves without a job. Other businesses simply will decide to relocate to an area where there are no regulations, and may ultimately produce more pollution than if they had remained here in the United States. While activism is important, I would encourage everyone to thoroughly research the consequences of a course of action before they pursue it.