Netflix and the Passage of Time

Good evening to you all!

Today has been a bit of a blah day. I’ve got a bump on my ear from an old piercing, basically my body doesn’t know when to stop the scarification process. This means that, in certain places, my scars end up as raised bumps rather than being flat. The process to take care of it is fairly simple, they inject steroids on the site where the scarring has occurred. It’s really not a huge deal, but it hurts like a mother. Still stings, so bit of a meh day. I certainly hope you’ve all had a better day than mine!

As I deal with this horrible pain, by which I mean, as I use the situation as an excuse to chill out for the day, I’ve been catching up on old shows via Netflix. Now, I’m going to assume most of you have the service or have used it at some point. Usually, as each show ends I grab the remote and click play on the next episode, not waiting for the 20 seconds it takes for Netflix to play it automatically. At one point (Hello, my name is Leishla and I’m a binge watcher), I decided to let the seconds pass without reaching for the remote and I realized how uncomfortable it made me.

In the grand scheme of things, 20 seconds doesn’t register. However, sitting there watching the time tick by, it felt like an eternity. Of course, there is the obvious fact that being conscious of time makes its passing seem slower, but I think there is something else at play here. We’re used to a certain immediacy with things – when running a google search, when loading an app, when buffering a video. The slightest delay makes the process seem like it’s suddenly become eternal, when in fact it’s only been delayed by a few seconds. This immediacy is not limited to our physical relationship with technology, but it also affects the content we consume through it.

It used to be that articles would be at least a couple of pages long. Now, for us to consume a piece in it’s entirety, it needs to be boiled down to lists and easily digestible blocks of information. I’m not saying there aren’t people who read long articles, I’m just saying that most of the time we want information that allows us to consume it quickly so we can move on to the next piece. Things with more pages get put on a back burner, for when we have more time to spend on them. I do this a lot and I often wonder why I don’t just sit down and read it right then, but there are always other pieces pulling at my attention.

There is a compulsion to consume what’s in front of us, be it a show, an article, a movie, or even a book. For me, this last one is particularly bad. I often feel the need to consume books quickly, but sometimes I think I don’t give them enough time to simmer and really sink in as I read. It’s like rushing through the pages and not stopping to smell the metaphorical roses. We feel entitled to immediate results because we already know they’re possible and anything other than immediacy represent a problem that needs to be fixed in the process. Except, sometimes it’s not a problem, it’s just something that takes a little bit longer. 

With that in mind, I’m kind of happy I’ve taken my time with St. Urbain’s Horseman. It wasn’t on purpose and, at times, it’s seemed like a really terrible way of going about it because I lose connection with the book. However, it’s given me a chance to think it through a little bit more, to stop on certain scenes and sentences and, precisely because I’ve been disconnecting, have an opportunity to think of them outside their own context. If that makes any sense at all.

I don’t particularly like the smell of roses, but I know that when you rush through they become a mass of color that can become boring, even if it starts out being exhilarating. Say what you will (what I will) about the smell, roses are beautiful to look at; good metaphors are meant to be savored; and sometimes those 20 seconds between episodes are the perfect excuse to press pause and pee.

Here’s to touching the roses and taking a pee break! Until next time, readers. 

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