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Binge-Watching Is Making Us All Worthless

Binge Watching Is Making Us All Worthless

What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Do the previous questions really matter when there’s a new season of House of Cards on Netflix?

Recently, after crushing season two of House of Cards in just three days, I started feeling guilty about the fact that I have but one life to live (according to the laws of YOLO), and am spending hundreds of hours of that one life watching TV. The new season of House of Cards is thirteen hours of entertainment bliss, but I am the Mike Tyson of binge-watching, and knocked that shit out like it was Marvis Frazier. I’ve seen every season of The Sopranos at least three times, made it through The Wire twice, and could keep going, but I won’t because you get the point. I have an addictive personality, and when I like something, I really fucking like it. In some ways this enables me to suck the juice out of life, and in others, it does just the opposite.

Over the past several years, television and technology have come together in a beautiful partnership that is destroying me, and I assume will eventually destroy the entire human race. We can watch TV and movies any time, anywhere, thanks to iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and an absurd amount of other services that provide instant streaming to our phones, computers, tablets, video game consoles and the like. The ability to “binge watch” television shows was born of these services, and Americans fucking love binging. Why sip a beer like a normal human being when you can shotgun that fucker in three seconds flat, and then shotgun nine more? Why eat one delicious cheeseburger when you can eat two at the same damn time in the form of an ingenious double cheeseburger? Why limit yourself to one episode of your favorite show per week when you can take a sick day from work and watch an entire fucking season, commercial free, in one sitting? I don’t have the answers, Sway.

When we were kids, our parents and teachers regularly warned us that watching too much TV would turn our minds to mush. We didn’t listen, and a few of us ended up okay, but holy hell have things gotten more dangerous since then. Some old school adult with a shitty cell phone and generally apathetic attitude towards technological advances is probably reading this and thinking, “Just be responsible, you degenerate. Set limits for yourself.” Fuck you, guy. I don’t want to waste my time watching 10 hours of TV a week, but it’s just so easy. I have adult onset ADD.

Maybe I’m having a quarter-life crisis, or just now realizing what a ridiculous amount of time I’m pissing away watching fictional characters do cool shit instead of doing cool shit on my own, but I’m terrified by the prospect of laying on my death bed and thinking, “Maybe I shouldn’t have re-watched every single season of The Sopranos that third time.” (There are 86 episodes, totaling nearly 72 hours of television, if anyone cares. God, I’m sick.)

It’s incredibly easy to forget how valuable every second of your life is when the combination of Apple TV and Netflix literally gives you an endless amount of entertainment to consume. Relaxing in front of the tube after work and enjoying a show or two is one thing, but binge-watching thirteen hours of a show because you’re an unproductive slob is another. Strike a healthy balance. If you don’t do it now, you’re fucked in the future, because it’s only going to get worse from here (or better, depending on how you look at it). Cable providers and television networks are just now figuring out how to utilize technology and give us what we want, when we want it, where we want it, so you can imagine how things are going to progress. In a few years you probably won’t even need a TV. You’ll probably just put in special contacts that replace your vision of the real world with whatever TV show or porn you choose. Once that happens, you’ll be finished. So get off your fucking couch and go run around outside, you worthless turd.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go re-watch every single episode of Game of Thrones before the new season starts.

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Ross Bolen

Ross Bolen is a New York Times Bestselling author, co-host of the Oysters, Clams & Cockles: Game of Thrones podcast, co-host of the Back Door Cover sports podcast, 2017 Masters attendee, bigger and more loyal Rockets, Astros and Texans fan than you, cheese enchilada aficionado, and nap god.

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