Hello. It’s me, the busy man.
The busy job man with the wife and two young kids man. The gets home late from work after a stressful commute man.
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The sometimes feeds his children cold beans for dinner man, scrolls through his social media while they’re in the shower man.
The frantically gets them dressed for bed man. Puts way too much butter on his crackers man. Ignores that terrifying, evolving pile of unfolded laundry man.
Just survived my 6 year old’s birthday party. Don’t tell me I don’t deserve this. pic.twitter.com/a8OaNaifU9
— Mark Serrels (@Serrels)
December 7, 2018
The finally sits down to watch TV at 9 p.m. man.
It’s the year 2021. We’re currently floating adrift in the “bad” timeline. In this world, everything is either melting or freezing. In this dimension, in this universe, even the act of “relaxing” or “sitting down to unwind” fills me with an existential, dull, aching dread.
It’s an all-too-familiar process. I push the on button on my OLED TV. The TV I painstakingly calibrated according to very specific settings. The TV I eventually purchased on sale after painstakingly reading through reviews and buyers’ guides online. Everything I do is “painstaking”.
I hit the little Netflix button on my remote and scroll.
And I scroll.
And I scrolllllllllllllllllllllllll.
Research suggests the average person scrolls streaming services for 19 minutes before deciding what show to watch. That’s me on my best day. This may be the result of a neurotic personality defect. The kind that has me obsessing over black levels on an overpriced TV, but I have — on many occasions, more than I care to count — sat down to watch television on Netflix and literally scrolled for hours before going to bed having watched nothing.
Or maybe I’ll start a new show or documentary or movie, watch it for 10 minutes and decide no, I chose poorly. This is not worth my constantly ebbing time…
Back to the scroll.
To the endless scroll. To the making of lists. “This show isn’t worthwhile now, but maybe in another timeline, in another universe, I will decide to watch this show.
“But no, not right now.”
I hover. Quickly grab my phone. A Google search. What did this do on Metacritic? Hmmm… what about IMDb? Is this the show everyone was talking about on Twitter? Should I watch it? Do I need to be across this?
Do I need to have an opinion on Shadow and Bone? To be equipped for discussions at a party or at work. Are people going to ask me about Stowaway, about the latest documentary series?
Am I obliged to watch these shows?