I watch DVDs or Hulu or Netflix now. Rarely do I watch an actual TV show, though I might listen passively while my boyfriend does. Okay, maybe “passively” is the wrong term since he assumes I’m really watching the show and catch every nuance, which we will now discuss. Umm…
Usually I’m posting something witty (in my eyes) on a message board or texting a friend or researching what I’m going to be when I grow up (I turn 46 next month). But I know I’m not the only one turning away from the TV and grabbing hold of alternative media. Plenty of people have ditched the cable subscription and almost no one watches broadcast anymore. Why?
I had a conversation with my boyfriend’s son yesterday. It wasn’t an in-depth moralistic dissection of human behavior. He has five kids; he doesn’t have the time. He was remarking on the slow speed of his dad’s laptop as he was downloading from ITunes. “The computers get faster and faster, and they still never seem to actually speed up. The faster the processors get, the more junk they’re supposed to do, so they’re still slow, they’re just busier.”
Feeling like a computer yet?
It’s true – all of the wonderful inventions to make our lives better only serve to make them more complex. I remember telephones. Not cell phones or IPhones or even those ridiculous bricks businessmen carried in their briefcases twenty years ago. Telephones. It’s rare for anyone under the age of fifty to even own one now, and you have to clarify that you have a landline, lest anyone be confused.
When people called you on the telephone, you were either home or not. If you were, you took your chances and answered. If you weren’t, they called back. Rarely was anything too important to wait. Then came answering machines, which demanded immediate attention upon your return, not to mention those wonderful “Are you there? Pick up! I know you’re there. C’mon, pick up! Fine, call me” messages. Ah, nostalgia at its best!
Then came pagers. Someone wants to talk to you about something important at the ungodly hour of Blurry o’clock, but unless you’ve got your little black book memorized, then it’s your best guess as to their identity. Again, immediate response required.
Now we have cell phones. Yes, I had a brick. Lovely piece of equipment and was perfect for holding heavy commercial doors open on a breezy day. My current cell phone weighs a little over 3 ounces and is already obsolete. I bought it 7 months ago.
Add to the joy the incredible smart phones. Now I can be phoned and texted at all hours, not to mention emailed. I’m inundated with Facebook updates and forwarded video clips and proposals from men I’ve never met. Apparently I’m an “angel sent from heaven” according to that nice –looking man that needs to use SpellCheck. Oops, did I accidentally forward that to The Boyfriend? My mistake…
So it’s no wonder I don’t watch much TV. There isn’t any Pause button, hence the need for streaming video and TiVo. I’m constantly being summoned to respond to everyone else’s life.
I’ve taken up knitting again. It’s quiet, it’s peaceful and it has no ringtone, just the “click click” of the sage green needles as they move, creating a lacy wrap out of three balls of lavender yarn.
I just remembered. My phone has an Off button. Life is good.