Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Instant Gratification and the Decline of Institutions

It seems quaint now, but there was a time we had to rely on others for most of our needs. We had to rely on family for food, operators to place calls, travel agents to book travel, the post office to deliver mail, and large institutions to fulfill our needs.

The technological revolution that began in the 70’s changed all that. As consumers, as individuals we become empowered. We could do our own thing, we could customize our lives.

But this new found power was a little like an 18 year old going off to college. A new freedom that would often result in excess. That excess, for us as a society, has been the self absorption that it has engendered.

But that’s changing. The millennial generation is both self absorbed AND one of most compassionate. It is arguably the bridge in a maturing culture that is coming to grips with this new found power.

These are some of the core issues that Paul Roberts writes about in his new book, The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification

My conversation with Paul Roberts:

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