Keeping up on the Content Treadmill

In recent years, there seems to be an endless amount of content to consume. T.V., movies, music, podcasts, youtube videos, music. Never before has so much been available to occupy you time. You could spend lifetimes watching and not see it all.

Yet with this abundance comes pressure. Friends and family telling you to watch this and watch that. Every recommendation bringing with it the feeling of being left out or left behind. Every day more and more is made pushing you further and further behind. I, myself probably have a backlog of about a hundred shows. Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead, Westworld, I could go on and on with shows I haven’t finished and will probably never finish.

And as I grow older, the less free time I have. Balancing work, with writing, relationships and all the other parts of life leaves me with less free time than ever. Thus I have to be very selective, and most content passes me by.

Strangely, this leaves me with an odd feeling of almost anxiety, much akin to the feeling that I used to get when homework piled up while I procrastinated. But why? What am I really missing out on? If the purpose of the content is to entertain/occupy my time then where is the harm in not partaking?

Perhaps the feeling lies in the loss of a cultural identity. Nowadays people are very much wrapped up in the media that they consume. Marvel vs DC, Harry Potter and Dr, Who. People are what they watch. Thus it becomes harder to fit in, to participate in conversations, to relate.

Personally, I pick and choose what I consume, largely based on convenience. I listen to podcasts in the car, T.V. has been all but abandoned, too many episodes, too much of a time commitment. Movies are easier, they’re a one off.
It would seem that the healthy thing to do would be to learn to be okay with falling behind, with stepping off of the treadmill. We are presented with a buffet of content and not all of it has to be eaten. We have become gluttons, addicted to bingewatching. Maybe it is time to go on a diet, to limit and refrain before our monkey brains turn to mush.

Does that mean I’m going to cancel my Netflix subscription? Not on your life.

You can follow me at James Bee


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