I’ve been thinking about what my favorite gadgets and service have in common, and I think I’ve finally nailed it: instant gratification.
The Kindle and Kindle DX are really cool little devices. Among all the features they boasts, the most frequently cited are its small size, ability to hold a library of books, and the wonderful instant delivery of new reading material.
I think this is what Amazon and the competition really bank on with these devices. Sure, they’re great for reading (as they should be), but I think what makes them such a success is how owners make many more impulse buys than they normally would.
It’s kind of like the comparison between cash and credit cards. If you’re carrying a limited amount of cash, you’re far less likely to fork it over. Credit card purchases have a disconnected feel about them. Often times, credit card transactions don’t even require another person on the other end. Even the terminology is different: you use a credit card, but you spend cash.
I know the analogy is a little crude, but stay with me. With a device like the Kindle, you don’t even have to fetch your credit card. We are removed yet another step further from the notion that we’re spending money. That’s not to say it’s such a bad thing. Most of us are responsible with our money, especially if you’ve just dropped a few hundred on the device itself. It a great convenience, but I have to wonder about the true motives.
Another example of my “I want it now syndrome” is my latest fascination (or I should say, infatuation) with Netflix. I’ve been a member for years, but only recently have I really gotten into their Instant Queue.
Ever since I discovered that I could watch streaming movies with my Xbox 360, I’ve been hooked. Several times a week I’ll sit down with the family and find a movie or series that I can watch instantly. Want to watch a few episodes of the Office? No problem… three button presses and I’m there. The same can be said for countless other things.
In closing, I’d like to ask everyone what their favorite (or not) type of instant entertainment is. Just leave a comment below!