I’ve heard that we millennials are a part of the “microwave generation.” We tend to tap our impatient fingers against the kitchen counter while we are waiting for a TV dinner to finish its two minutes and thirty seconds of cooking. We’re a generation of convenience, but we’ve experienced the best of both worlds.
We’ve seen people who took years to build a music career, but we’ve also seen overnight YouTube sensations. We’ve experienced everything from letter writing to email to instant messaging. We’ve experienced both dial up and broadband Internet. We might not have as much patience as the generations before us, but in defense of millennials everywhere I must say that we do have at least some form of patience. What concerns me is the instant gratification culture of the upcoming generation.
Now before you exit my page, please understand that I am not bashing a generation. (I don’t like it when people do that with my generation.) All I am saying is that the culture has shifted to a point where practically EVERYTHING is convenient and instant. You hardly have to wait for anything anymore. This issue should spark concern amongst everyone who is concerned about the work force of tomorrow.
What will be the consequences of a generation that is not used to practicing patience? I am not saying that the next generation will be devoid of patient individuals. What I am saying is that society has embraced the culture of “Now,” i.e. instant gratification, and I’m no rocket scientist but something tells me that that can be quite dangerous if there is no balance of patience involved.
This is a disturbing thought particularly when I think about the legal field. Imagine being a kid that has spent most of his/her life receiving things almost instantly. Then imagine being told that after you graduate from high school, you still have at LEAST an additional seven years before you can become an attorney. (This is an estimation based on an “ideal” schedule of four years of college and three years of law school. This doesn’t even include the time taken out for real life interruptions, the majors involving studying that takes longer than four years, nor the part-time student’s schedule.)
That seven year time frame may not appear to be so endurable to the “Now” kid. What will convince THAT kid to want to go to law school? And what about the time frame of the legal process itself? Even an amateur viewer of “Law and Order” can tell that there’s some distance between the date someone is charged with a crime and the actual trial date.
The point I’m trying to make is that a culture of instant gratification might not be so good for developing individuals for careers that require endurance. There’s nothing wrong with progressing and becoming more advanced as time moves forward. However, it is important that we do not sacrifice good character traits, such as patience, along the way. Something to think about: Is today’s culture of instant gratification ruining tomorrow’s lawyers?