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Has the Need for Instant Gratification Made Us Forget Our Manners?

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Has the need for instant gratification made us forget our manners?  More and more people seem to want everything their way and they want it now – no matter when NOW is.  Instant everything.  Instant messages, email, fax, internet. Instant food, the faster the better. Instant education, job, wealth.  Instant medical service, diagnosis, and an instant cure. Instant family. Instant travel. Instant information. Instant banking.  Instant support and training – even if it’s 10 p.m. at night. Right or wrong, good or bad,  it seem that most people want it NOW!  What happened to please and thank you?

I live in a very small, rural town – where people still wave at strangers, if you see someone broken down on the side of the road – you stop to help them out.  Life flows along at a very relaxed pace in our little corner of the world.

Cell phones are nothing more than expensive paperweights up here – if you try to use them {IF you are lucky enough to get a signal} you get a Canadian operator who asks you for your credit card — in French!  We are not connected 24/7 – nor do we want to be.

Wanting and demanding things NOW is a pretty uncommon occurrence – around here — until I walk across my yard and up the stairs to go to work and then it all changes.

Gone are the days when the phone would ring and we’d hear “Hi, this is so and so from company name – how are you today?”  Instead we hear  “I need help!” when we answer the phone and seldom is there a please or a thank you.  Everyone is in a hurry, their poor planning induced emergency is supposed to become our one and only priority – I need it now is not for me!

Computers and all of these gadgets were supposed to make our lives easier – give us more time for friends, family and fun.  As an outsider, for the most part I don’t see that’s happened.  People can’t drive down the road without being on their cell phones {even though it’s illegal here in Vermont}, they can’t go to the grocery store and get their groceries without being on their cell phone {the grocery store 14 miles away is one of the few places that you can actually get cell phone service}, my grandchildren seldom go outside because they are glued to video games, and my oldest granddaughter {12} has had a cell phone for 2 years and my daughter complains because she’s always on it “texting” to her friends instead of doing her homework!

If I took “do unto others as they do unto you” to heart – I’d be disconnecting the phone and the internet and hanging a “closed” sign on our website.

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    Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
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