Instant Gratification Generation Worsened by Social Media and Waiting for Fallout 4

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Man you would think the end of times was coming the way my kids were desperate about getting “Day 1” release games on the day they released. Waiting until Christmas was “too long” and the game would already age, with thousands of vids and walkthroughs online already.  This is what parents face now in this generation of social media and online video, where consumerism and all the marketing and sharing behind it make it that much harder for parents to try and teach their kids that “rewards” and “gifts” are not instant.  If it isn’t a Birthday or special occasion it is imperative that they learn luxuries and wants must be earned through hard work, reward system or sometimes simply saving and avoiding the urge to spend anything you do earn immediately.

As someone who telecommutes and gets gadgets sent to me all the time to review for Dragon Blogger, I can honestly tell you this is much harder in my house than in most perhaps.  The fact my kids see me get games, products and stuff all the time to do reviews makes it seem to them like I get all the cool and great stuff immediately without having to wait, delay or save up.  Realistically this is another part time job, reviewing products and it is something that I negotiate services for.  It gets explained but not always understood or accepted.

Also, not even I could negotiate a free copy of Fallout 4 to review, so I am having to wait until Christmas forcing myself to delay to set an example for my kids that we can’t always get what we want even on the day it releases.  Even though I could afford to buy it for myself, I decided to bite the bullet and set an example with this one.  It would be too much of a tease to play a game I wanted as much as them, and they would be forced to wait.  Sure I could put the “I work and earn money, and can afford to get it for myself” item but this would not be setting an ideal example, and I am willing to wait with them and show them that I can wait too just like they can.

Things are just so different from when I was a kid, there was so few new releases and toys compared to how much stuff gets constantly released now.  I used to spend allowance as soon as I got it just like they do, but I was more patient in waiting for occasions to get gifts.  Of course there was no YouTube, Twitch and other endless channels to cram what I wanted down my throat and “show me” how much I was missing out partaking in this awesome game or activity.  Instead you usually heard about the kid or two in school who got it already and asked how it was and listened in awe, or if they were particularly cruel used to tease and tell you how great it is and spoil it.

Of course, I still have the mindset that I don’t like to watch game play period, I like playing a game and experience it with no prior knowledge or video.  I read reviews only for issues or severe failures in a game like Aliens: Colonial Marines I may have wasted my money on if I didn’t do the research to see how bad the game actually ended up being.  But I particularly am not fond of Let’s Play or video game walk throughs as it ruins the story and immersion for me, my kids however are all about watching the gameplay and this makes them want the games more, and with sandbox games this lets them create their own stories and adventures.  But I don’t think this has the same benefit with campaigns and closed games, where the story is fixed and if you watched it before, it isn’t new and therefore you have no excitement value when you are seeing something already seen.

Either way, patience is something sorely needed in a generation wanting instant gratification and we fight the good fight, but always hope our kids can learn to tell the difference between needs and wants, and develop the hard working ethic to get rewarded only after doing the work and putting in the effort to provide the benefits.

Share with me your stories on how much you struggle teaching kids to wait and the difference between want and need!

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Updated: November 9, 2015 — 9:51 am