Steve McKevitt’s “Everything Now” pegs our happiness on having everything we need and want to be provided to us now. He explains how we are currently living in a time of instance, and 24/7 access to almost everything that we may want. As a result, our needs are met and the economy is focused on ensuring we get what we want as fast as possible. As a result, we are healthier, better fed, longer-lived, entertained, and educated than any other generation in history but we are not happier. This perception is highly linked to Lawrence Shames’ “The More Factor” where the current economies are run by greed and the habit of wanting more. Greed represents the essence of the evolutionary spirit. The paper illustrates the proposition that “the hunger for more” is driven by the fact that our needs have been fulfilled and hence we have an economy that is devoted to the business of satisfying our wants.
The current society requires instant gratification. This has been made possible by the advancement in technology, knowledge, and skills among others. Our shipping is the next day, our internet is high-speed, and our food is fast. If we don’t have to wait for something then there is no need to. What would be the point of waiting when it can be sorted out easily and fast? We only need to pick up our smartphones and within a short time, an Uber or tonight’s Chinese feast is at our front doorstep.
Technology has rapidly kept a stride with our fast-paced demands and lifestyles. You want a gate away? You Airbnb. Do you want a movie? You Netflix. Do you want some sandwiches? You Uber Eats. You want some assistance to set up that new media system that you just acquired? You Airtasker. This desire to get things done fast goes beyond the items that make our lives easier, advancing our businesses, and providing greater fulfillment. However, as much as it may seem better, it does not reflect our happiness. The “Everything Now” perception has led to people wanting something instantly when it would have been better and happier for it to happen more slowly (Baumgartner). This happens in cases such as when getting married, leaving a job, having children, possessing our most coveted items, and having our dreams come true.
The culture of instant gratification represents the hunger for more of our need fulfilled. As Shames puts it in “The More Factor,” “Whoever dies with the most toys win.” In this case, society is fixated to wanting more quickly, resulting in greed. The virtue has worked and is used to capture the essence of the evolutionary spirit. The signs of more are represented in our culture by the current need to get the most for the least, supersizing the meal, and obtaining something for nothing (Baumgartner). “The More Factor” depicts even in our basic lives. We expect our houses not only to shelter us but also to keep us cool during the summer and warm during the winter. We also expect our house to relax us, dignify us, to be a theater, playground, and a bar. We expect a week’s vacation to be exotic, romantic, effortless, and cheap. We expect everything to be Americanized, sanitary, and relaxing when we go to a place far away. We expect anything and everything. We want compact cars which are spacious, and luxurious cars which are economical. All these scenarios demonstrate the more factors present in the current society.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs also plays a vital role in driving the hunger for more and the culture of wanting everything now. The hunger for more is fostered by people’s need to achieve all the levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs quickly rather than stepwise, yet the higher needs in the hierarchy emerge after sufficient satisfaction of the previous needs (Uysal et al.). People want to move from physiological needs to self-actualization quickly by fulfilling their safety, love, and esteem needs within the shortest time. Hunger drives the need to achieve growth needs (self-actualization) without fully satisfying the deficiency needs (physiological, safety, love, and esteem) (Uysal et al.).
Identity plays a vital role in hunger for more. Identity provides a self-concept that is multifaceted and includes various diverse and loosely integrated identity components whose contents dynamically construct in their contexts (Oyserman & Destin). The context in the current era is geared towards the hunger to get more things done now. Since people tend to interpret situations in a manner that is congruent with their current active identities, they prefer to take on identity-congruent actions. The current actions of wanting more quickly have been embedded in our society making it identity-congruent. As a result, any difficulties encountered while engaging in the behavior makes it important and meaningful (Oyserman & Destin).
To conclude, “The hunger for more” in society has been driven by various advancements in technology, education, and skills among others. These advancements result in the need to want “Everything Now” fueled by “The More Factor”. The result is an economy that is almost entirely devoted to satisfying our wants.
Baumgartner, J. I want it…NOW! Sometimes better things do come to those who wait. Psychology Today, 2011.
Oyserman, D., and Destin, M. identity-based motivation: Implications for intervention. National Institute of Health, 2010. 38(7): 1001-1043.
Uysal, H. et al. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in the 21st Century: The examination of vocational differences. Researchgate.net, 2017. 1 (23): 211-227.
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