Friday, December 18, 2015

Don't Make Me Take Off My Sweatpants

We live in a society that craves interaction and attention, but seeks it in in the form of social media likes online instead of from a person. Robots take over for sales associates. movies began coming to our doorsteps through the mail, and then streaming straight to our homes. Even I would rather buy something from Amazon online than have to get dressed and go to a store.

I read an article by Dennis Perkins on about his video store experiences which included an eventual closing.

The Netflix and chill generation faces a friendless future.We value convenience, but convenience means I don't have to change out of my sweatpants and go to a video store to rent a movie.

I don't have to make a decision about which pants I want to wear. With increasing options, I instead make fewer decisions.

Entertainment zapped into our brains as we sit and stare at twenty-four or thirty frames per second, but wait this is the microwave generation. We need images at forty-eight or sixty frames per second.

Make it quick, I've got a hot pocket in the microwave.

The deliberate choice to rent a movie and then watch it is gone. In that brick-and-mortar video store I had to make a choice to see the world, or at least a part of it. I had to choose one and just one movie.

When I rented a movie, sometimes even interacting with an associate to pick the right one, I would commit to a single movie, promising that other movie, I'll come back for you!

The cry of convenience has led to an overabundance of choice with the end result indecision. My Netflix queue is there whenever I want it. I can delay that decision of what movie I want to see. The movies may sit in my queue or get deleted if i find something better.

This takes away discovery. I stick to movies and genres with which I'm familiar. Netflix provides recommendations on what I've already seen. I don't get to see that section of films in the store I typically don't like.  I don't see the cover to Evil Dead 2 and never decide, "I have to rent this."

I binge through a season of television and forget it. It runs together because I didn't spend time speculating and hypothesizing with friends in the week between airings.

Convenience takes away decisions, exploration, and discovery. 

It also takes away human interaction.  At the video store I'd talk to people. I'd get to hear about and see employee recommendations. Netflix has tried to come up with an algorithm, but that's not like a person. I don't get to jeer my buddy when he recommends me a stinker he promised I'd love.

Our mantra has become, leave on your sweatpants. We are mutes, living in a fantasy world fed to our brains through high definition monitors and fiber optic cable.
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