Remember back in the day, about 10 years ago, when you wanted to have a night in and rent a movie from Blockbuster? It was $4.99 but you committed to getting in your car, going to the store, and really spending some time picking out a movie. You took into account the genre and cast and if you wanted to cry on someone’s shoulder or laugh over some romantic comedy. You read the synopsis and even checked out some reviews. You paid for it and knew you had to have it back within 24 hours so you rushed home and figured out what to cook or order in. You popped your long awaited movie choice into the TV and dedicated to the hour and a half. You maybe even watched the credits at the end. Even though it may have not been the best choice, you were faithful to that movie all the way through.
But now there’s the world of Netflix and Hulu and everything in between – unlimited options and not enough time. We are all trying to navigate through this oversaturated generation of “on demand.” You turn your TV on and open up Netflix and there are 10,000 options that are completely overwhelming, and mediocre at best. Nothing that really stands out and everything that doesn’t really grab you. How do you commit to just one piece of content without thinking about all the others? There are seriously so many options.
What Women Want? Basic. 40 days and 40 nights? Predictable. This random independent documentary where you know nothing about the plot but you’re sure you will feel a little smarter after you finish it. Okay let’s try this. 15 minutes in? Nope this is completely boring and there are a ton of other choices right at your fingertips.
But how do truly make up your mind? You end up picking a typical generic comedy and experiment with it. 25 minutes in. Pause. You can pick back up and finish this after the dog is walked or you check your Instagram. As soon as you are about to start watching it again, you ponder about that other random movie you were thinking about earlier today. And you remember hearing good things about it. You quickly turn off the comedy, switch to the other movie on your mind with the good looking lead and watch about 2/3 before falling asleep. You go to work, get home, and decide to watch something else on Netflix only because it wasn’t worth finishing the last part of last night’s movie, get completely overwhelmed with the amount of options all over again, and repeat.
In other words, this is dating. Then and now. The unlimited options and countless choices.
If you find one thing about someone you don’t like, don’t worry, there’s a batch waiting to fill the void. Or if you are out on a date that isn’t going well, just pull out your phone when they go to the bathroom to get in some matches. You won’t commit to one relationship because why do that? You are constantly going to be thinking about all of the other options and to settle on one just doesn’t seem that fun.
This “on demand” culture is killing dating and relationships.
Maybe we don’t want all these countless options. Maybe we want to go out and commit to meeting someone, giving it a chance, and seeing where it can go before thinking about who else we can talk to and meet up with. Subscribing to an unlimited amount of people seems awesome but the quality is what’s important, not the quantity. Too many options is not the answer. It’s worsening the process and making things more difficult. Options are valuable but having too many options is ruinous. Blockbuster sounds pretty good right now.
“Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com.”