Let me preface this with the fact that I am not a psychologist…this is just something I have been thinking about lately. People seem to be quick to react. You owe it to yourself to pause and reflect.
My observation on people right now is that many are quick to react:
Quick to react to something they hear.
Quick to react to something they see.
Quick to react to something they observe.
Quick to react to a different view point.
Quick to react to a headline.
Quick to judge someone.
Quick to say harsh words.
Quick to feel emotional.
Quick to attack.
Quick to turn someone down.
Quick to criticize.
Quick to share.
Quick to post.
Quick to say yes.
Quick to say no.
Quick to give up.
I question where the stopping of temporary pause and reflection started. Many became addicted to a quick reaction. I think a lot of it comes from technology, media, possibly upbringing, and really the times we live in.
Instant gratification is something craved. In a social media world of refreshing feeds, checking likes, sending messages, things are expected to happen quickly. Something happens or a headline drops and immediately people take to social media to share an Instagram story or make a tweet.
Doesn’t it seem naïve to react to things we do not know much about without doing our own research? I think it seems naïve to believe everything you see, hear, or read too. Personally, I think we would be better off if people took the time to take a breather, to research, to pause, and to reflect. Give things time.
When people in an online social circle have the same reaction, it seems to generate these quick emotions and group think. People are quick to be unhappy with you, and most likely voice this opinion: If you do not respond quickly, if you respond with an opinion different than the common response, or if you do not respond at all. Responses are expected immediately… and not just any response. The accepted response, the common response.
This instant gratification, this lack of taking time to pause and reflect, carries on in other aspects of life:
Getting in shape is an example. People crave a magic diet pill or complete a quick workout and expect a huge change in their physical fitness. Getting in shape and being healthy takes time, energy, and honestly its a never-ending cycle to live a healthy lifestyle. When people do not see the instant results they desire, they give up and throw in the towel. They say it healthy eating and exercise does not work for them, when in reality it just takes time. Instead of being quick to throw in the towel, stick around and keep trying.
Take relationships too: I see a world where people are quick to search for someone who meets their lengthy criteria. Trusting that someone will come into your life at the right time seems to be out the window. (Just saying- this worked for me! 😉 ) Online dating seems full of quick yes’ or quick no’s. I see a world where people judge based on the way someone else looks in a picture, within a few seconds. The instant reaction gives a sense of perfection to those who crave it. The reflection seems outward, in a sense that the other person is not good enough, good-looking enough, or does not have the same view points on every topic.
Another application is friendships. If a friend says something not approved of or agreed with, often the friend is cancelled and removed. The conversation ends.
All of these conversations ending, creates division.
Rather than pausing and reflecting and researching, it seems in many ways people have a quick reaction to a perception of wrong or right. The aspect of taking the chance, devoting the time, offering the energy, and being thought seems to fade away.
One of my goals for 2021, is to take time to pause and reflect. As a blogger, I have gotten backlash on this before… and to be honest, I personally believe this could make the world a better place. I started the year reading more books and doing more deep diving, and it’s so much more fulfilling than spending time reading others quick reactions online.
One last Reminder: You do not owe anyone your reaction to anything.
There’s such thing as keeping things to yourself.
Do not give into the craving of instant reaction.
You owe yourself time to pause and reflect.