Some sort of magic happened when we crossed the world with our apple tv and our Netflix account. Despite reading online that we wouldn’t be able to access UK Netflix from a Hong Kong address, upon buying our gratuitous television (owing to the cheapness of electronics in Asia and the novelty of the freedom to select our own TV), Netflix worked right away. Having access to only cantonese and mandarin language channels via cable, Netflix has been our Hero.
When you are spoiled by the availability of channels via Sky you put less thought into what you watch and more importantly, what you don’t. In each household the TV is almost always on in the background, a comfort blanket protecting you from awkward silences and boredom. Often we watch TV out of habit, flicking through channels until we see something at least satisfactory before we settle down to sit for 30 or 60 minute slots. You can waste a lot of time watching TV.
I believe in the power of technology for education, for communication and for pure enjoyment. TV is a powerful tool and there’s nothing wrong with spending time watching it. For us, reliance on Netflix as our sole connection to the world of visual entertainment has evoked a natural habit shift.
I saw a meme on “the internet” which said that relationships are just two people asking each other what they want to eat before they die. I would add “…and what do you want to watch?”. The beauty of Netflix is that entertainment is on demand, you can choose what you want to watch and when. You can choose to watch your favourite series before getting and early night or you can binge watch into the early hours of the next day if that takes your fancy.
Asking each other what we wanted to watch everyday can grow tiresome and you eventually run out of episodes, out of series, out of answers. My “continue watching” menu became populated with half watched documentaries and pilots which had turned off after a few minutes because they were boring or simply terrible. As our options lessened, our habits changed.
At mealtimes the TV was redundant, with nothing to put on we began to stream music in the background. Rather than staying up late on “school nights” we’d choose to watch the next episode in our current series and then get to bed at a reasonable time, fresh for the next day. In the mornings before work the TV stayed in sleep mode, weary at the early hour. On Saturday mornings we’d enjoy our lay-in, take time making a coffee and enjoying the view from our apartment.
I began to see the value of enjoying the space of the apartment and its silence. Or near silence. This isn’t pinterest. People live above us and a dog lives next door. (With his owner too I might add).
I enjoy being at home and spending my time there. Minimising the static buzz of the television has opened up 30 and 60 minute slots to enjoy other things at home instead. Recently I dipped my metaphorical toes and literal pen nib into the world of calligraphy. It’s really hard and I’m not very good but it’s relaxing and I’ve made friends doing it. A resounding success.
My short experience with calligraphy has helped me to remember just how much I enjoy creative pursuits and stationary shopping. When we had a day off of school through emergency closure due to an impending typhoon, I spent 10 hours painting. Even when I was a GCSE art student I don’t think I ever spent 10 hours focused on the same piece of paper. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t get an A, or maybe I had better things to be doing, but regardless, the joy finishing my work sparked in me was undeniable.
Some sort of magic happened when we crossed the world with our apple TV and our Netflix account. We began to reevaluate what our passions are, we became more purposeful in our watching habits and we spent more time talking to each other. If Netflix isn’t our hero then I don’t know what is.
NB: It might be that I’m feeling a little disaffected with technology after watching 3 series of Black Mirror (prime binge watching material) the same week I suffered eye strain from reading on my laptop for hours at work. A coincidence of course but indulge me a little!