I’m going to make a confession, and I don’t do it brag, but to explain. I don’t say this to prove how smart I am, or even to claim that I’m intelligent at all. In fact, the problem probably stems more from an overactive imagination than anything else. That said, my confession, which I make knowing full well that I will probably be condemned for it is:
I think TV and movies are boring.
There! I said it! I know, I’m a social pariah, unwanted and unwelcome in this twenty-first century, but it’s true. Movies and TV shows bore me! Every time I sit down to watch something, I make sure I have my phone available because I know my mind will wander. I watched ‘Avengers: Endgame’ while wrapping presents last Christmas, and I don’t even remember sixty percent of it. Whenever I put something on TV, I either check my phone and learn WAY too much about the cast and crew of the show or I pull out my laptop and proof-read.
I don’t know why, though I suspect my aforementioned over-active imagination, but I get bored when I focus on TV shows and movies. YouTube videos have the same problem, which is why I mostly just listen to them. It also provides evidence that the problem isn’t the shows themselves. I can listen to a YouTube video like a podcast while doing something else and have no problems at all. I can look at paintings, or even focus on a five-minute video, without internal distractions, but I can’t do that with TV shows and movies.
Books, and even comic books, on the other hand, are great! More of my mind is occupied, so more of my imagination is engaged. When I can see what something looks like, and can hear it myself, my imagination isn’t turned off, it’s just not engaged. That leaves it free to wander, and a wandering imagination is bad for my attention. Books don’t do that. Comics don’t do it as much. There’s just something about reading that holds my attention better than watching does.
I know it might sound pretentious, or like I’m trying to display my intelligence, but I don’t think that’s it. TV isn’t boring because of the content, it’s boring because I don’t need to focus on it. The more engaged my mind is, the less it wanders. Nothing engages my mind like books, and it’s why I write instead of making videos.
Well, that and the fact that I have a face for radio and a voice for silent films.