Best of Slow Journalism: On instant gratification

India Typewriter

Where would be we without Delayed Gratification? Not in a very good place, thinks Paul Roberts.

His essay ‘Instant gratification‘, which is the cover story of this quarter’s The American Scholar, warns us of the ‘Impulse Society’, focused on immediate fulfilment of self-serving needs and not so much on the far future.

As we get used to getting personalised solutions to real and imagined discomforts, and getting them at ever-increasing speed, we move away from the long-term thinking which ensured survival in less affluent times. “It was only by enduring adversity, disappointment, and delayed gratification that humans gained strength, knowledge, and perspective that are essential to sustainable mastery,” Roberts writes.

This short-termist thinking, Roberts thinks, has crept into the way we handle business and allowed for “a credit binge that nearly sank the global economy.” It’s also affecting politics, making us less inclined to look for compromise.

If you’re looking for something to read over the weekend, we recommend you skip the listicles and sit down for this interesting think piece on how controlling our impulses could benefit us in the long haul.

The piece is available online here.


Honed design, relaxed writing and an almanac approach to the passing years”Observer

Jam-packed with information... a counterpoint to the speedy news feeds we've grown accustomed to”Creative Review

A slower, more reflective type of journalism”Creative Review

A chic magazine with fine infographics and long stories”Die Zeit

A very cool magazine... It's like if Greenland Sharks made a newspaper”Qi podcast

A fantastic publication that puts current events into perspective”Qi podcast

Quality, intelligence and inspiration: the trilogy that drives the makers of Delayed Gratification”El Mundo

Refreshing... parries the rush of 24-hour news with 'slow journalism'”The Telegraph

A leisurely (and contrary) look backwards over the previous three months”The Telegraph

Perhaps we could all get used to this Delayed idea...”BBC Radio 4 - Today Programme

Everyone should read this magazine”Stacks Magazine

Wonderful title and wonderful concept”BBC Two