What would the world be like if Netflix didn’t exist?
This is a question I ask myself sometimes (as I mindlessly scroll through the reams and reams of programming choice looking for something to leap out and grab me).
Obviously, I should know the answer, given that Netflix has not been around as long as I have. But that’s kind of a distant memory. The idea that once, I had to fiddle around with timers on a video recorder and then sit and press the button and watch the white snow lines whizz across a screen if I wanted to fast forward to the good bits seems just a little bit mad. And having to wait for each new episode every week? Well that’s kind of a thing of the past (unless you’re watching Designated Survivor which evilly cut after episode 10 and is now being cranked out agonisingly slowly).
Anyway, when I was ill, I sat and watched TV. It was a bit of a novelty, I had just enough energy to focus on the screen semi-comatose and take a vague interest in what was going on. The TV kept on going, and going, and going… and that was a good thing. It was something I would definitely miss. Having to press a button to make the TV do something else, or get up off the sofa are issues of the past. Great when you have no energy and the blanket you’re snuggled under is warm.
I do wonder though, what it is teaching us. That deferred gratification isn’t a thing? That sitting in front of the TV for hours is a good idea? That you can have everything you want right now when you want it? That the Santa Clarita Diet seems like the sort of thing you wouldn’t binge watch, until suddenly you realise you’ve got to episode 3 and you’re kind of hooked? (just don’t watch it while you’re eating your dinner).
I am nostalgic for the days of my 14 inch portable, and my somewhat screechy video recorder, but not to the extent that I wish they were still around and Netflix didn’t exist (but oh… those days of Red Dwarf, and Bottom, and indie alternative bands strutting their stuff on a pop show…)
It’s definitely a great thing having choice. It’s useful when you’re ill to be able to easily find something about zombies to make you feel better about your own grey, washed out look. IT’s slightly worrying when your kids all fall about screaming when the internet cuts out.
What would life be like without Netflix? Liveable, maybe more active…but slightly less entertaining if you’re ill.