Are you a talker or listener when watching TV shows and movies?
Legs up, perpendicularly placed on a wooden-carved table. Watching my favorite show. Skip 20 seconds. A character embarrasses themselves; I can't bear that without squirming. Skip again. EEk- I don’t think I can watch a show with an extra breathing human. Sorry, there are too many parts to skip. Annoyed faces blink back at me. Every word has to be heard clearly and dissected. For the life of me, I cannot finish a full, 45-minute episode. Is there something wrong with me? Yes, my subpar attention span. I am watching Snowpiercer as I write this. Later, I edit. For now, words are irritating me. Watching a show while watching a show. What is wrong with me? Next time, no distractions. Only me and the screen. How about you? Can you watch a show with someone else?
Late at night… all I can think of is a TV show
When the clock strikes 12 I think of tv shows vs. turn into a princess. At 12: am, my time, I was busy filling out a form.
Yet, the only thing I was thinking of was relaxing my feet and watching a TV show.
As someone who thinks too much for no reason, this got me thinking, how, I can never watch tv shows with other people.
I am that annoying friend who keeps talking. Distracted. Beware: Do not watch a tv show or movie with me.
To relieve some of the annoyance I make others feel, here, I list some of my most irritating traits when watching shows.
1. Asking questions while important TV scenes are happening.
Being inquisitive is a sign of creativity, they say. It’s helpful. Ha. Not when you are watching a movie.
My hand is stained red from all the guilt I feel. Constantly, asking questions.
Here’s the thing. Logically, others cannot know the answer because we are watching at the same time. I grasp that.
Yet, I still can’t help asking. A demon who speaks too much possesses me. Nibbling at my brain.
Since I always forget the characters.
2. Skipping parts in TV shows and movies.
Furthermore, I am not sure when my attention span for tv shows receded to that of a 5-year-old.
But here we are. I blame the advent of YouTube for this.
I am so used to watching short 15 to 20-minute videos. Anything longer and my head starts buzzing, aching for anything else.
Consequently, I skip the boring parts.
The cringe parts. Even, when annoying characters I hate appear on the screen. To be fair to me, I do not do this while there are people around.
I still respect friends. However, at parts where I want to skip, I desperately start fidgeting, leaving the room, or looking at something else.
3. Falling asleep during movies.
Now, this is ok, if you do not snore loudly.
However, sometimes, a combination of people can cause a sleep-full environment, even sleeping beauty would be jealous of.
This is what happens when you put two impatient people together.
My best friend in university and I constantly battled watching the Fast and Furious franchise.
Each time we fell asleep, halfway through each movie. Like a trance, if I start dozing off so did she and vs. versa.
4. Making loud crunchy noises.
Auditory stimulation or noise pollution is burdensome while watching a TV show.
To illustrate, in the movies, the sounds of people crunching and smacking away at their popcorn are a tad bit distracting.
Not to add the side comments, snark, and occasional breakups and rejections.
However, that is the fun of going to the cinemas. Nobody goes to hear perfectly. At least, I don’t.
Meanwhile, at home, crunching noises can drive your co-habitants mad.
Even, banning you from being in the same room when the news is on. Phew, this happens to me too.
5. Putting the subtitles on and audio on low volume.
This one is really specific and catered to my mom. She is used to watching English shows with Arabic subtitles.
Hence, she keeps the volume so low, we cannot hear a thing. Like we need any more distractions.
She does not even notice that the volume is low. In a way, that would be fine if I could read Arabic fluently (which I don’t).
By the time, the characters finish a sentence, I am still on the third word. Instead, I go by the facial expressions to guess what is happening.
On the bright side, my Arabic reading can improve a bit.
6. Using the phone out loud while the TV is on.
This is the part where I feel like cursing.
Maybe, this is my pet peeve but also my payback and karma for being a nit-wit tv show watcher.
The competing noise between people who turn on their phones while watching Netflix does something ugly to my insides.
Why put something on in a communal area, if you are just going to use your phone, noisily?
7. Switching between shows and movies.
Although, I skip scenes in tv shows while alone. I strongly dislike switching and lallygagging between shows.
Why? We never get to know or feel a connection to any of the characters.
Given the many bad movies on Netflix, it is understandable sometimes.
The recommendations are hit or miss. Still, it can take forever to choose something to watch.
By the time, someone decides on something, everyone falls asleep. Too many options means more time arguing about what to watch.
8. Spoiler alert: love them or hate them?
By now, if you read any of my work ( or know me), you know I am a weirdo. I love spoilers. I start books from the end. Even, starting seasons in the middle.
One of the many reasons I could never become a movie critic.
There was a time I was a spoiler spreading machine. By accident. Sometimes, on purpose.
As I matured, I do not do that anymore. I am very careful about spoiling things for people because it can affect their mood.
I learned to keep it to myself.
Finally, there is an easy fix: earphones.
Luckily, all these quirks and abhorrent tv show etiquette examples are easily fixable. How?
By using your laptop, phone, Ipad, smart tv, and earphones to watch something you love.
Here, you can fast-forward to your heart’s content. Talk to your friend.
Check up on whoever it is you are curious about on Instagram. Nobody gets hurt. No relationships are broken.
Perhaps, this is one of the amazing aspects of being in this generation that we take for granted. I remember as a kid, discussions, or more accurately, fights for the TV were heated.
Sometimes, I even resorted to bribery. For instance, I would give my younger sister my makeup (which I hated) for the TV remote.
In the living room, control over the remote meant power. Cue the song: I got the power.
Many bruises, feuds, and fun banter happened in the TV room. As well as quick dashes to the kitchen to get a snack during commercial breaks.
Whereas, now we can move to our snack while carrying our show with us.
How cool is that?
All in all, it is a little fun to get on each other’s nerves sometimes. Or else, life would be too mundane.
What is your pet peeve when watching TV?