I’ve got a problem.
In the past few years, I have queued an overwhelming amount of, well, ‘stuff’, for the expected ‘when-I-get-bored’ moments in the future. Saved on my laptop and iPod are lists upon lists of movies I need to watch, TV series I need to start or catch up on, books I need to read, and podcasts I need to listen to. Over time, it sort of became a habit, a natural inclination to stock up on these things, an automatic mechanism I have unconsciously employed to rid myself of gaps of doing nothing – boredom, as we call it.
I’ve even got designated ‘Favourites’ folders (which I have so pretentiously titled ‘Films’ and “Reads’, because in my mind they somehow sound a little more sophisticated than ‘Movies’ and ‘Books’) to deposit website links to which I can easily access my abundance of media that very likely add up to hundreds of hours.
I feel as if I’m running out of the mental capacity to store all of this media madness.
What’s strange is that, although I have accumulated a rather extensive collection of all this ‘media stuff’, when those ‘I-have-nothing-to-do’ moments do come up, I still find myself thinking, “okay, so now what?”. What follows is often a Google search of “top 2013/4/5 movies”, or something along those lines, you get the idea (because I know you’ve done it too!). I have truly become a digital hoarder! No matter how much I already have stored, I am constantly adding new stuff to this endless media inventory. Once in a while, however, I do pay a visit to my ‘Films’ and ‘Reads’ folders. And that’s when I come to the realization that “wow, I’ve got a lot catching up to do”. That’s also when the pressure kicks in and the binge-watching cycle begins.
Luckily, the binge-watching doesn’t usually last too long. Juggling between school, work, and (hopefully) a social life, I literally cannot squeeze 10 hours out of this sponge that is my time to listen to Radiolab or watch the newest Marvel movie (or Nicholas Sparks … heaven forbid). Thank goodness I’m still lucid enough to know that I need sleep. At one point during my first year of university, however, I was going back and forth between ten different TV shows… Why don’t I have that kind of motivation about the more important things in life?
I guess for me a big reason why I can’t seem to steer away from media, movies and television especially, is that, I find them to be huge conversation topics. To avoid the awkward small talk silence, I constantly feel the need and pressure to know what people have been watching/listening/reading, so when the topic comes up, I can tell them how much of a badass Scandal’s Olivia Pope is or how ridiculous Samuel L Jackson’s lisp was in Kingsman. With that said, in my 20th year of life, I truly hope to instill a bit more control on my outrageous amount of media consumption and start paying a bit more attention to the more important things in life, like politics and doing my taxes or something … (jokes… I’m not ready to deal with that much responsibilities yet).
I’d like to consider this acknowledgement of my rather unhealthy relationship with the media a fairly good first step. The next is of course making actual substantial changes. While it certainly takes time and lots of discipline to avoid this element of modern life that has so deeply infiltrated our lives, I do believe it is possible. Fingers crossed that entries on this blog later in the year will see some positive changes in my digital hoarding habits.