The term gratification comes from the Latin word gratification. The first meaning mentioned in the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) refers to the financial reward for a certain benefit.
A gratification, in this sense, is a money that is awarded for the development of a service or the performance of a favor. For instance: “The owner of the cat offers a reward to whoever helps him find it”, “The company usually grants bonuses to workers who show commitment to the firm”, “The government is analyzing the possibility of giving a bonus to the person who provides accurate information on the whereabouts of the victim”.
Gratification understood as a sum of money or a series of benefits in the business environment is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, it encourages workers to strive to improve to achieve the objectives efficiently, but it can also deviate them from the fundamental goal, which is simply to do their tasks in the right way, to focus them on obtaining a prize above all else, at any cost.
Go behind a reward For our work it is not always negative, but it can become an obsession that pushes us into an abyss of injustices. It is not wrong to pursue gratification as long as it makes us more responsible, because pleasure is an indispensable ingredient of happiness; however, it should always be placed in a context in which we do not lose sight of the importance of the balance between effort and reward.
The idea of gratification can also be used in a broader way and allude to something material or symbolic that an individual obtains and what generates welfare or satisfaction. Usually the psychology considers that the human being acts in search of gratification.
The instant gratification is experienced when satisfaction comes without delay with respect to the action. The deferred gratificationRather, it is a reward that is procrastinated. Today, it is often said that we live in the “Culture of immediacy”, which privileges instant gratification and does not value delayed gratification (or the effort that must be made to access it).
Suppose a young man receives money as a birthday present. The boy has two options: to immediately spend that money on outings with friends, something that would cause him instant gratification although ephemeral, or to open a bank account and deposit it, later, to charge interest on his investment, with which he would obtain more money than he had received, giving rise to what is known as deferred gratification.
From a social and cultural point of view, we can not only say that in recent decades the human being has been more inclined towards instant gratification than delayed gratification, but even these two concepts have taken different forms, as customs and leisure alternatives were also evolving. For example, while before the advent of the Internet, immediacy was more related to sexual promiscuity and the use of narcotic substances, today much of the instant pleasure and ephemeral it can be obtained on the net.
The fact that today it is no longer necessary to move from our seat to obtain instant gratification not only makes the sense of this concept more appropriate than ever from a semantic point of view, but it is truly worrying if we think that running of the years we will have to strive less and less to achieve our goals. How much less work can we be asked to do than to sit or lie down touching a screen? Probably much less, and poorly applied technological advances will already teach us.