In recent years, and I’ve said it on this blog, I have really been trying to read and write more for personal pleasure. It’s something I loved to do a lot as a kid and in fact, growing up, I wanted to be an author/journalist but I have since lost my way (that may be a story for another post). I started this blog about 3 years ago to aid myself in this journey to reclaiming my passion. And I was off to an alright start. This blog doesn’t reflect it, but I was putting pen to pad and making more regular trips to my local bookstore. But then I started grad school, and rightfully so I fell off a bit again, although at least this time I was more self-aware and would remind myself to never forget again. So I graduated and since the latter half of 2015, I have been more actively trying to get myself back into the habit. I’ve made a few (very few) blog posts, I have some other writings either on paper or on my phone, and I’ve read a few books and have a decent little stack at home to read. Baby steps, but at least steps forward and the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and even if you trip along the way as long as stumble forward you good. Or something like that, but I haven’t made nearly as much progress and I should have, and now I realize why.
I’m struggling with an addiction and it is getting in the way of me and my progress. The addiction is Netflix and Hulu, both of these foul temptresses have me wrapped around their fingers. Their HD quality, limited/commercial free streaming fingers. Every time I’m excited about flipping open one of my books or writing down some ideas I have flowing through my head, I somehow find myself glued to the couch binge watching a season of Justice League or Archer.
Somehow these two companies have developed some form of ocular crack because the crazy thing is I’m not, nor was I ever, addicted to TV. Check this out, I don’t have cable right now, by choice and I don’t really care to have it like that. It’s not saying much because I have Netflix & Hulu (Netlu? Huflix?), but I can assure that even if I didn’t have them I would feel the same. Growing up I did watch my fair share of TV, but probably not any more than the average for the time. I really only watched it as much as I did because there was not many other alternatives. I lived out in the country, and there were no other kids in my area besides my brother who was anti outside. I spent a lot of time outdoors but playing with yourself gets harder as you get older (sounds more sexual than it should). I played video games and watched TV growing up, but I wasn’t confined to them and honestly preferred not to be. I remember when schools would issue a challenge of no TV for a week and I would breeze through those days with ease. Reminds me of an episode of Arthur where they did that.
I really only cared about a couple of shows a day, and those time slots would be split up so I wouldn’t even be in front of the tube for that whole time. I guess I should think about Huflix like how I’ve heard some people talk about the image of an overweight person in America today vs. in like the 40s or 50s. On average back then folks were smaller, part of the reasoning being that they weren’t putting the things in food yet that makes people become so easily addicted to it. Whatever those additives are (haven’t really researched that deep so feel free to correct me), are food’s crack factor and it’s pretty blatant what that crack factor is in online streaming services. It’s the binge capability.
When you go by just TV, you get your one episode at its time slot per week, or at most per day depending on what show we’re talking about. So me not being overly committed to a lot of shows, it was easy to turn the tube off. Especially when I had other options. I was, and still am, the same with gaming. When I first get a game, I may play it a lot for few days, but then after that I would only hop back on it for a little while here and there. Which is why I loved BlockBuster, we miss you homie (releases a sorrowful Master P ‘Uhhhhnnnn’). The only exception to this would be when I’m gaming with other people, because it’s more fun and social. Same with TV, there were only a few shows at a time I really cared to watch myself. Pretty much all other times I watched was in a more family setting where we were still being social, so binging wasn’t an issue.
But with Netlu, all of that goes out the window. I’m somehow more a slave to this than teenage me was to porn. And let me tell you teenage me loved some porn, check my Limewire download history. Yeah I still may only be watching a couple of shows at a time, but now I have instant access to like 5 seasons of those shows and I can’t stop until I finish. It disgusts me but yet I can’t give it up, its sooo good to me baby.
I feel so dirty after binge watching a show. I’m like I know I shouldn’t but I can’t stop, the lights are off, curtains closed and it’s just me and the TV. Sometimes I like to do it on the couch, sometimes in the bed. I even do it on the toilet. Then when I’m done I open up the curtains and the sunshine hurts my eyes a little. But then they adjust and I look outside to a beautiful day but am left feeling nothing but regret because I had the whole world in front of me but squandered it trying to chase an unattainable high. Because you always say that “this show will be the last show” or “I’ll just get current with this show then just watch on a weekly basis when the new season starts”. But that’s never the case because there’s always another show and then another one, and another one as if DJ Khaled is your remote. Then next thing you know, you’ve completely missed the new season of that first show and have to binge watch it and then the cycle repeats.
I really want to live a much more productive life but I’m sick, and I need help. I really want to get my addiction under control, but don’t know how, maybe there’s a series on Netflix about it…