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Netflix (digital) fatigue...
and recommendation engine's
It’s official. I have Netflix fatigue. For that matter fatigue for anything that is online streaming. We have access to Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Tubi, and Hotstar - access to Indian shows to make my in-laws feel at home so that they could fool themselves that they still have a leg attached to back home. And I am fatigued from all of them.
As the months progressed with my heart disease and my inability to work, I ended up idling more and more. And some of that time went to watching streaming networks. As I watched content on these networks, they wanted to hook me and keep me engrossed in it. Netflix’s recommendation engine kept suggesting stuff that I would be interested in, classifying me as being interested in Crime, Drama, and documentaries.
But, like online shopping cookie-based advertisements, which feed you advt’s after you have already bought something, these AI-based recommendations want you to watch more of the same. A monotone repeat of a similar kind of content one has watched before. On and on and on. I tried breaking their rules and watch unrecommended or lowly recommended content, but after some time I ran out of juice.
Over the last few weeks, I stopped even switching on the TV during the day. At best a couple of hours after my wife joins me after work to have a forced watching of something on TV in order to do “something” together in order to maintain our relationship. I would prefer to talk, but she is all talked out from the all-day meaningless chatter that today’s work entails. And, wants to recharge herself. Can’t blame her though.
The same goes for the other AI-based recommendation engines that try hard to keep you in their network. YouTube, Google News, TikTok, LinkedIn. Thankfully I don’t use Facebook or Messenger. It was so bad with YouTube that it started recommending a ton of good work-related videos. After a while, my bookmark of “Watch Next” videos exceeded over 1,000+ videos. A never-ending list.
I used to listen to a ton of books, but unfortunately for the last few months, I have been unable to go back to Audible and Scribd. This is because of the fact that much of my listening to books were tied to exercise - while on the elliptical, rower, walking, mowing, and vacuuming - all of which have stopped for now.
So finally, I restarted an experiment that I tried a couple of years before. Digital detox. Deleted Google News, Apple News, BBC News, TikTok, turned off notifications for YouTube, Gmail, LinkedIn, and also while at it deleted a bunch of 20 other app’s that I don’t use at all.
It’s 24 hours since, but I am still having withdrawal symptoms from not reading the news, or filling my time with meaningless stuff. All I trying to do now is a move from meaningless to emptiness. I am guessing eventually this emptiness and void will be filled with something better, something more meaningful and impactful.
The experiment continues… every day.