Steve Dalton asked what I meant by the last post, “Curbing Content Consumption.” Looking back on the post, I can see what he meant by that. I stuffed the post’s intention in cute little tag lines but never really expounded as to why we wanted to curb our content consumption. I knew why. Those in the airplane that night knew why. But I didn’t really address that all-encompassing why for everyone else who didn’t get to hear it which, in essence, was everyone else.
Writing like it’s an inside joke is a really, really bad idea if no one else is in on it.
Thank you for properly calling me out, Dalton.
I also guess that I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Our reasonings for the change weren’t solely inspired by our own actions by also by actions of loved ones. I didn’t want to piss them off.
Below is my attempt to qualify it. Please let me know how well I did.
I don’t want to look back on my life and see that I spent it watching someone else’s. I don’t want to know the stories of prime time television characters better than I know my own. I want to be more like Cassidy, whose life flows in and out like the tide, governed by forces greater than Nielsen ratings. I want to be story-worthy. Much more importantly, I want to live my life, and have what I consume be for the purpose of my living in it. The only indulgences I want to have are in the adventures yet to come – with no commercial breaks.
The OldOld Man used to say for us to take advantage of every opportunity we can. In much simpler, poetic terms, he wanted us to take all the classes available, book all the trips we can. Play often. To quote Bruce Pandolfini (Bobby Fischer’s chess instructor), “make every move have a purpose.”
I’m not 21 anymore. I watch family members and friends who can tell me the TV show lineups and the recap on obscure college football games and it scares the shit out of me. That’s an addiction to media content consumption. I’ve done that to myself when I’ve been in depression. My nightmare is that I I’ll be stuck back in front of the TV, toxically pacified by the next rehashed story line and that’s it: just a little fix to get me to the next episode.
I’ve already done that too much in my life. I don’t want to go back there again. I want to make every move in my life have a purpose, and I want to cut all the ones that don’t inspire me, invigorate me, thrill me, entice me, or any other sensation that keeps me on the edge of my seat, nails dug into the arm rests, overcome with the tipping point of excitement that I just can’t wait to know what’s next.