This post is a bit ridiculous because there aren’t really any actual answers. But it was on my mind, and frankly, what is the use of having my own blog if I cannot word vomit whenever I feel like it? 🤔
Now, this is based on nothing concrete, just a nagging feeling that I have had since I started reading again in earnest, and which has been exacerbated by the copious amounts of time I spend obsessing about a certain television show featuring post-apocalyptic earth and space. And I can’t help but wonder if all our reliance on books, movies, television, and music makes time go by significantly faster than it used to.
But before I talk about any of that, here are some things impacting this super unscientific thought process:
1. Older people claiming that time goes faster as we age.
2. The massive increase in the production and consumption of media since its inception.
I don’t know about you guys, but the elderly are always telling me (and by “always” I mean my grandparents have said) that time seems to speed up the older we get. So is this just… that effect? Maybe since I am getting older, time is going by faster? The second part of it is that maybe since we have so many options, we’re less bored, therefore time speeds up? We’ll look at that first!
If you are older, like, pre-internet, you probably remember some really boring afternoons as a teen. Nothing was on TV, there was no Netflix, movie rentals involved a car trip, getting a new book to read involved either the bookstore or the library, and there was no online to waste time playing with. Connecting with friends often involved at the minimum a phone call (which was probably long distance, if your friends lived all over the area like mine did), or again, a car ride. A lot of times, there was just not a ton to do.
Now, when I am bored, there are so many things to do! I can binge a show (or The 100, let’s be real) on Netflix. I can read any book I want in seconds with my Kindle, and if I just want to waste time, I can read useless articles, play on social media, talk to friends who are anywhere, in any time zone. A lot has changed in a pretty short time span. I personally got internet in 1998, so in less than 20 years, entertainment has been wholly revolutionized.
So is it that endless, boring days that once seemed to slowly tick by are now replaced with filling our time with all kinds of things? Books, shows, and sure, mostly useless procrastination? I don’t know, but I do know I’m never just sitting on my bed with nothing to do anymore.
I am so damn guilty of this. Think about it- your favorite book has a sequel coming out, and you’re giddy excited for it to be next year. Your favorite show is on hiatus for eight freaking months and you’re selling your soul for it to be 2018 (this is not at all something I am actually doing at the moment 😉 ). You hear of a new movie in a franchise you love, but it hasn’t even started filming, so you’re counting the minutes until it releases.
Are we too excited for what comes next to see the value in what is happening today? For me, I know that I do this, no question. I try not to, but when you’re left with a cliffhanger and don’t know how to function… well, you know how it is. That isn’t to say that we aren’t living our lives in the meantime, but I certainly know that I have wished for future dates to hurry up and get here. Plus, with the world in turmoil, it makes wishing away the next 3.5 years seem far more appealing.
If you are anything like me, you probably have a TBR of 1,000+ books. For a lot of us, that’s even a conservative number. This ties into the first point, but it’s also a bit of a “I will never have enough time” feeling. Because as we read one book, we add five to the pile, ensuring that we’ll never, ever run out of stuff to want to read. And of course this works with other media, too. My Netflix “to-watch” list is out of hand, certainly in large part to the aforementioned non-stop The 100 bingeing. But still- think about all the movies you’ve said you wanted to watch some day, shows you wanted to try, plays or musicals you wanted to see, etc. It could go on quite literally forever.
Because the truth is, there will always be more books and media than we can consume. This is a good thing; it makes for choices. But it also makes us feel like we have to rush through one book to get to the next. Finish one season of a television show in a day to get to the following one. It’s like the Goodreads Challenge Effect™, where we rush to finish something just to be able to say it’s done. And certainly, that makes time go by awfully quickly.
Literally nothing. Sorry. If you were hoping for some profound declaration at the end of this, you’ve come to the wrong place. I don’t know if any of this is legit, but I did want to know if anyone else has felt the same way!
Honestly, I like it better this way- I’d rather be overwhelmed with sources of media that be sitting in my room staring at the wall. Though I do wish I gave myself a bit more time to do nothing if I really want to. It’s a balance, and I assume that it’s process to find it.