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Getting Real

PsycCRITIQUES , Volume 50 (1) – Jan 5, 2005


American Psychological Association
Copyright © 2005 by American Psychological Association
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Getting Real


<p>We live in a culture that loves immediate gratification: fast food, fast-drying nail polish, digital cameras, and high-speed Internet. More often than not, we are content to sacrifice quality to have something superficially filling. So what if a burger is not as delicious as a gourmet meal? One can satisfy one's hunger in less than five minutes. No wonder so many people suspect that they might have attention deficit disorder: We are not expected to wait for too long, concentrate too hard, or control our impulses very often. And in our mover-and-shaker world, the quicker we receive the benefit, the better it is. The goal is to get as much done as possible in the least amount of time, hence the need for multitasking, meals on the run, and fat-burning pills.</p><p>Even our entertainment is speedy. Television provides entertainment that comes in 30-minute to 1-hour doses. Songs are usually 3 to 4 minutes. Movies that are longer than 3 hours are now divided into two parts (e.g., Kill Bill: Vol. 1 [Tarantino, 2003] and Vol. 2 [Tarantino, 2004]), and we usually do not have to think too much to enjoy them. That is why summer blockbusters are almost always
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