A few nights ago I intended to take a break from my late-night “studying” sessions (read: studying for work), gracefully typing www.iflix.com into my search bar with one eye closed. iFlix is Malaysia’s Netflix I get for free since I’m subscribed to Unifi. I knew it was going to be a one-time thing. Just in case you didn’t know: I don’t watch any dramas, I don’t enjoy movies and I only listen to music when driving. Just wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I usually spend my free time watching documentaries, studying how-tos, and listening to talks (I am 100% boring).
When I clicked on the Documentary category, what came out instead were biographies about celebrities. NOPE. Horror? Nah. Adventure? Boring. I thought of Hilary Duff. Hilary Duff. That’s who I want to watch. I typed her name in the search bar and Younger TV came out. Oh man, it’s a TV series. TV series have always been out of bounds for me. Not only did I understand how much time a person would waste on watching one episode after the other, I also understand it’s designed that way so you get hooked and want more and more and more. It serves lonely people well.
I watched it anyway. Three or four episodes per night. My usual 9 pm – 12 midnight spending time work-related I spent watching Younger. Guilty I felt, but at the same time, I wanted more.
Told myself work could come in later as I watched these 26 year-olds be somebody in the publishing world, understanding what my own publishers meant when they say they look for authors with no following. The editors and publishers at Empirical chase authors with thousands of followers on Twitter. The protagonist is a 40-year-old woman pretending to be 26, first faking her age to find a job, next faking her age for everything. Every night they go to the bar; if not something to “celebrate”, they’d go just for fun. They’d show up at the work the next morning looking flawless as always and the forty-year-old protagonist somehow always does her assistant job well AND has the eyes of hot looking men on her. The episodes open with an after-sex scene, kissing and stuff while I wonder if, in real life, people smell. Morning breath doesn’t seem to exist! Oh, TV, the ideal life.
I told myself, “Let’s just finish one series and see if I’m compelled to watching the next one.” Damn that autoplay button. I just sat my laptop at the edge of my table as I lay on my front on my squeezy Queen-sized bed not wanting to do anything else in that time I usually would have been productive or found out something new. Autoplay. Autoplay. Autoplay.
Last night I was up to the fifth episode of the second season. It was becoming addicting, I admit, I even took myself to look them up on Instagram. They were at the xth season already and Liza (the protagonist) was ikut nafsu kissing her big boss Charles, then somehow Kelsey (Hilary Duff) was kissing Liza’s hot boyfriend.
I shook my head. SMH. Is this even real life? I don’t think so. How could you hook up with each other like that? And what good does it bring me to watch these things? What kind of education or knowledge can I receive feeding my addiction to a TV series? The only kind of wisdom I got was that there is no point, so I no longer feel the need or want to watch the series anymore. As curious as I was, I knew watching it does nothing good. Something in me just switched. It’s as simple as that. I can’t find a good reason to continue watching (I do think it’s a good series). So I just stopped.
My entertainment is I guess not in the form of watching dramas. It’s not good for you once you binge-watch it either. I see it as a problem, an addiction problem. You might argue “at least I’m not doing drugs”. Mean or material does not matter. Root remains the same: addiction. It’s when you think you lack something so something else fills that void. The same way you feel clingy or needy around your boyfriend or girlfriend. The same way people eat when stressed. The fact that you feel so empty without it, you are addicted to it. If having it makes you happy, then not having it still makes you happy, congratulations.
If not, I say you have an addiction problem. The cure to addiction is connection. This kind of connection is not a Wifi on and off thing. The connection you lack is one that is never-ending, continuous and everlasting. We are all made of connections and I feel that you cannot establish a real solid connection with another person until your own connection with yourself is grounded. You think your husband makes up your “other half”? Take him out of the equation, do you still stand strong? A plant may wilt but a resistant plant knows to move towards the Sun. You are so full of resources, a being of intelligence. Why would you spend your precious time watching TV that makes you “feel” things or “forget everything” when you could use the time to learn how to connect?
Don’t take a pill to suppress the pain. Find out what causes it, and learn how to shovel it off entirely. Sometimes, you don’t even have a problem.
You just think you do.