How To Adapt to the "Now" Generation


More than ever, we want things now. We buy things now, we want things now, we don't care as much about tomorrow, and it only gets worse in an always-on world.

On the one hand, people increasingly yearn for immediate excitement and are becoming less tolerant of boredom. As most jobs lack genuine excitement and many are plain boring, your average working routine will not sit well with the spirit of the age. Rather than just accepting it as their lot and getting on with it, as previous generations did, there will be much moaning and groaning and a widespread impulse to abandon it in favour of something more personally rewarding. There aren't all that many "nows" in one life, are there?

On the other hand, too much emphasis on the current "now" makes future "nows" more difficult to attain.

This has significant implications for the future of work. How do you keep people engaged? How do you keep them focused on the long-term when they keep thinking about now?. The article takes a stab at an answer with this suggestion:

Companies will be forced to respond to this exodus by addressing their working culture, making it as genuinely varied, flexible and pleasant as is humanly possible.

I think we will see more freelancing, less attachment to corporations, and a more fluid workforce centered on projects more than employers.

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Blaise Pascal once wrote that "all of man's problems stem from his inability to sit quietly alone in an empty room." I used to think that Pascal meant "people don't like to think" because thinking is the only thing you could do alone in an empty room, but I wonder now if he meant that we hate to be bored. The fact is that we evolved for a world far different from the one we live in, and it is causing us problems. But I'm a big believer that eventually, technology will save. I wish the Singularity would hurry up and arrive.