Film & TV

The Effects Of Streaming Induced Paradox Of Choice

Photo by Marques Kaspbrak on Unsplash

by Haris Hussnain

When I was younger, we didn’t have streaming and instead would rely on the traditional cinema or DVDs coming out to watch movies. In my opinion, this made things plain and simple. I would save up for one specific DVD which would be something that I was interested in. Although this was a slow process, it didn’t make me wander about the shelves of DVD stores, endlessly searching for what to watch next. These limitations made it easier to choose films to watch. 

The problem with streaming is that it has little limitations when you watch something – especially with the extensive catalogues. I remember when we first got Netflix in my house. The library of seemingly endless movies and TV shows was amazing to start with because I  didn’t have a set choice on what I wanted to watch. Also,  there were things I didn’t like about streaming. One being that many TV shows have all the seasons available,  allowing the watcher to skip episodes or binge watch. I think this takes away the excitement and anticipation built up waiting for the next episode because you can just instantly watch the next episode which pretty much ruins the experience. However, it has been fun at times – one of those times being when I got to watch some old childhood cartoons. Watching Clifford The Big Red Dog was very nostalgic.  Netflix in my house is a battleground with more time spent debating on what to watch than actually watching anything. I guess others experience the same problems. 

There have been times when nothing I wanted to watch was on TV. So I decided to open Netflix to find something to watch but ended up not liking anything. Another problem with having the choice of all the movies you can ever watch is that you might spend more time looking for something to watch instead of actually watching anything. In fact, pretty much all the things I’ve watched on Netflix have been recommendations from friends. However, streaming can be useful for education.  Programmes such as Horrible Histories or even a film such as Dunkirk can educate people a lot about our past. There are also other series teaching people math and literacy which I believe make streaming beneficial. 

Especially at a time when many children have uncertain futures. I believe the people facing problems with streaming are young people because there isn’t a set target audience when it comes to finding something to watch. Unless it’s clearly 18+.  But streaming and Netflix has become an issue because of Covid-19 restrictions – people have been experiencing uncertainty and have taken up something that is assumed to be certain and that is consuming media. A major issue is that consuming media and streaming films has become the biggest activity this year. It’s not a healthy activity which raises the question. Should streaming companies limit the amount people can stream? Maybe they could have a weekly limit on how much can be watched or maybe even a monthly limit. Either way something does need to change. Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not an absolute killjoy. But I do think that there has to be a balance when it comes to streaming. A balance between what we want to watch and the endless library of media.

Maybe streaming companies aren’t such a great deal as they’re made out to be.