Media Consumption as an Addiction

in #television3 years ago

When I was in my first year of university I didn't have money for a television. My parents offered to send me an extra one from home but I didn't see a need for it. Right around that time peer to peer downloading services were starting to pop up and so everyone in my dormitory had entire hard drives filled with television, music and movies. We basically had no need for television whatsoever, everything was at our fingertips and so we went to town with it. We would binge watch television and movies like The Matrix and Fight Club and hang around the dorm after class. I had this compulsive desire to consume every ounce of culture out there. I was hungry for all of it, even the bad stuff. When I didn't know what to watch or listen to I asked around.

This kind of compulsive media absorption continued throughout college and when I first decided to move to Japan, I had a new culture full of media to absorb. My first 2 years out of school went the same, I was immersed in media. I wanted to know all the Matrix's and Radioheads of Japan, the things in pop culture which still had substance. I was even happy to know about some of the more shallow aspects of the culture just to understand further. In some aspects it helped with my Japanese because it included books and manga as well and this desire kept me motivated to eventually read novels in Japanese. Most of the time, however, it was really about absorbing the story and the overall feeling of the media, especially for the television and film, and so I watched with subtitles rather than risk not knowing what was going on.

It's so hard to stop, right?

In order to stay in touch with my own home countries culture, I'd watch western dramas while writing down vocabulary lists. I'd write out grammar sentences in Japanese while finally watching that sixth season of the Sopranos that I missed when it had first aired on HBO. I would review the JLPT test vocabulary while watching Boardwalk Empire. As soon as I was caught up with the latest episode I'd move back to Japanese television and binge watch fooling myself that I was studying. I learned a thing here or there, but for the most part, I was just watching television.

I was addicted and I didn't realize it until years later. There was an element of escapism that motivated me but there was also this desire to be a master of culture, where I could recognize and understand the impact of anything and everything in pop culture. I am a bit of an anthropologist by nature, but I let this desire to KNOW turn into a compulsion and a lazy one at that, where digital media was preferred over written word.

This fit right into living in Japan and I never realized how serious of a problem it was. I thought it was great that the Japanese Billboard would be a fully new list every week, it made room for some more interesting genres to appear along side the crap. Japan is addicted to culture the same way I was and so it enabled me even after I had decided to dedicate myself to studying. It surely slowed down my progress more than I could possibly imagine.

When I finally became passionate about living in the moment about 5 years ago, I was able to tear myself away from the screen. I realized just how much of my time and energy had been sucked from my life. Since then everything has changed. I feel much more at peace and I've made much more progress building the life I desire, but there are other aspects of living in society that have become complicated. I will talk more about the change in part 2.

I think media addiction it's quite a common and yet basically unidentified problem in our culture. We tend to just think of regular media consumption as a normal part of our lives while we are doing it because so many other people are doing it and everyone seems to know so much about what comes out. When we try to stop we realize how much of an addiction it really is. "What do I do?" Or maybe we know some other things we can do but none sound as easy and pleasing as watching another episode. We know how to binge! If we binge drink, don't people say we have a drinking problem? Is it any different with media?

Has anyone else been addicted to media consumption? How so?


Hello @whatamidoing, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

Thanks! Really appreciate it!

I am still in the addiction. I know, i am being addicted. But could not resist it. I got the addiction with the movies first, then start with the series- Breaking Bad. I watched the whole series in a week. And it continues just like that, one by one. Vikings,Flash,GOT,Arrow,Spartacus and so many of them.
Yes, we are not actually concerned about the media addiction. Maybe the people, who should talk about this, are providing the raw in this sector.

Jeez Breaking Bad is like almost 100 episodes, right?

It’s so normal, but consumerism is an addiction. Steemit can be your rehab ;-) or perhaps another addiction haha

Addiction is perfect, for the time being, I want to get addicted to it..Lol..

My family cannot fathom that I don't watch TV. This is not to say I never watch a show on a screen, but I don't watch broadcast television, and so the shows I do watch are limited. My mother literally just asked me this week what I DID for TV. I said if there was a show I really wanted to watch, sometimes I can watch on the website (like Vikings). Sometimes I borrow DVDs from the library. Sometimes I buy episodes on my Kindle. For the last season of GoT, I literally signed up for a free month trial of Amazon Prime and a free one week trial of HBO attached to that, on the last week of the season, and yeah, binge watched it, then cancelled both. 😂😂
But then I go a long time without watching anything, or I rewatch certain shows I own either on my Kindle or on DVD (which I watch on a 15 year old iMac).
Ergo, I don't see commercials regularly and they are PAINFUL when I do. Last Yule, the relations were all talking not only about shows I hadn't seen but the commercials as though those were equally entertaining. When I said I hadn't seen one particular one everyone agreed was funny, my uncle said, "Do you even own a television?!!" I said, well, technically, but it's just for my Wii Fit, the last time I turned on the bunny ears was for the last season of Sherlock.
Once again, I was an alien in my family, and nobody knew what to say to me.
I think the addiction is so prevalent, it's the norm, and you're weird if you're not addicted too.

I didn’t even know kindle had movies... haha

I can enjoy commercials not because I’m so far removed from the culture which they are part of, I feel like they inform me a bit, kind of how they might inform an old person about the trends young people are into...but yeah they’re awful when they are a part of daily life.

Yep society is addicted and you are weird if you are not...exceptthere are so many people like us hiding here and there. Glad to meet as many as I can.

Well my addiction is the steem platform because am always on it and the reason for that is because I do feed from the steem earnings I make here.

Addiction is addiction, but you might as well be addicted to something that lets you connect, interact and make money ;-)

oo yes a am addiction to youtube a spend a impressive time there every day.

We dream the Universe; the Universe is all mind stuff, said the Buddhists.

Fiction are actually Universal stories. The artists receive data from a particular place in the Universe depending on his or her Soul's past and future history in the Time-Space continuum, hence Heart-connections.

As Earth is currently in a process of reintegrating into the Universal community, it is no wonder that people have the feeling that some scenarios unfolding on Earth seem to be like fiction.
Put simply, fiction covers the whole Universe. As Earth reintegrates into the Universe, Earth becomes more fictive as well ;)

 3 years ago  Reveal Comment