For a while, I lived in a world all too myself. I was ridiculed, laughed at, made a mockery of…
I stood alone, proudly. NO…I didn’t have cable/satellite television! And no…I didn’t want it! If I needed to watch “regular” TV, I had my bunny-eared antennae connected to my digital converter box, running through my 25 inch, tube television set. I had my old VCR on hand if I ever wanted to take a look at some old VHS favorites sitting on my bookshelf. And most of all, I had my five-disk standard DVD player.
It was the DVD player that made my setup complete, because it allowed me to enjoy my membership to NETFLIX. When I first joined in 2005, I only knew about four people who were receiving their movies by mail through this service. I felt like I was part of an exclusive club. Only we understood the magic that Netflix brought to one’s life! I was no longer doomed to watch the same movies over and over again until I quoted their lines in regular conversation. I finally had access to a plethora of films; movies that dated back to the beginning of Hollywood; pictures that I’ve always heard of but never wasted the money to rent when there was always a new thriller or comedy sitting on the shelf of my local video store.
And Netflix started a new trend in my premium cable-absent, no-time-to-watch-evening-network-programming life: I could rent ENTIRE seasons of long-running and new television series…all at once!! Shows I’ve heard a lot about, but never caught more than a couple of episodes. Now, I could catch up on an entire series and not just come into the middle, “LOST”.
I filled my “queue” up with movies and television series that I’d never seen before, and watched them obsessively!! My new millennium American television cultural awareness multiplied ten-fold. The gap formed through all of those years focusing on my writing, while neglecting to indulge in the “common” man’s activities, was filled. And I loved it!!!
And that little world that was once my own was suddenly shared by almost everyone, it seemed. Since Netflix began streaming its content directly to computers and televisions, alike, their membership has skyrocketed, and the company’s cultural and technological dominance has taken root. I read the other day that nearly 40% of the internet bandwidth used during peak hours of the day is consumed by Netflix watchers.
Obviously, I’m not the only one obsessed!
And although I may not be cheered or held up in reverence for my willingness to take a stand against all of those cable subscribers, I can happily say that I am no longer the butt of everyone’s jokes. Instead, I’m the one laughing…