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I Watch TV at 1.5X Speed and I’m Not Sorry

And that’s okay – not all TV can be as absorbing as Baked Alaska-gate or Bob Mortimer explaining the rules of Theft and Shrubbery – but that means programmes are padded out with exposition, moody silences, or shots of documentary interviewees having their mics attached to their jumper before the interview for some reason, and I can’t watch that. It requires a patience and a complacency that the modern world doesn’t allow for any more. The threat of nuclear Armageddon has never been higher, people, so get to the good stuff or get off the stage!

So I hit the 1.5X speed button. Otherwise, in the gaps between the slow dialogue and unnecessary artistic shots of local scenery (we get it, you have a drone), I start to think about things like LGBT hate crimes being on the rise, boatfuls of desperate families dying in the English Channel, and Global Warming’s recent upgrade to Global Boiling meaning my child might live to see the world become uninhabitable. So I speed the programme up. Fewer moody silences = less thinking time.

Maybe the creators find this insulting, but at least this way I’m actually watching their art, instead of keeping half an eye on it while doom scrolling on my phone. Because that’s the real problem: social media has eaten into our free time and swallowed our attention spans whole (besides, did you even watch the show if you didn’t Tweet about it?) making my generation into neverending, FOMO-obsessed consumers of content. The generation that doesn’t – and can’t – switch off. 

As fast as we’re consuming the content – be it TV shows, trends or the ever-accelerating 24-hour news cycle – they’re dishing out new stuff at double the frequency, so is it any surprise we’ve resorted to watching it at double the speed? 

So yeah, I watch TV at 1.5X speed most of the time. I wish I didn’t have to. I wish my brain and the world in general these days didn’t go at 1.5X speed either. But – much like the dead air of TV shows – let’s just skip over that, not think about it too much, and keep on watching.

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