For all the convenience that modern technology brings, there are plenty of annoyances that come with it. It’s kind of like our children, that way.
For all the joy they bring, there are plenty of annoyances to go with them, too.
When children and technology converge? Let’s just say I’m developing an ulcer, simply from choosing something to watch on family movie night!
There are two predominant jokes about Netflix. One is “Netflix and Chill,” which isn’t really a joke but is instead a bizarre euphemism for hooking up, and the other is Selection Inertia, which is a phrase I just made up about the agony and angst of trying to choose a movie with your significant other.
You know the drill: you don’t have anything in mind, so you decide to browse. And browse. And browse. You throw out a few, your wife throws out a few, you can’t reach a consensus, you try to compromise, you refuse to watch another Audrey Hepburn flick, she doesn’t think Step Brothers is funny, next thing you know you’re lying on the couch alone, watching Superman II for the 500th time while your wife calls a divorce lawyer from the bedroom.
Fun times! Next time, try spicing things up by tossing in a five-year-old!
Here’s how family movie night goes in my house:
Me: So, what do you want to watch?
Detective Munch: I want to watch something new!
Me: Like what?
DM: Spider-man 10!
Me: What? There is no Spider-man 10. (Yet.)
Me: Here, let’s browse.
DM: No. No. No. What’s that?
Me: It’s for grown-ups.
DM: No. No. No. What’s that?
Me: *lies because I don’t want to watch what it is*
DM: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure?
Mom and Buried: *stares daggers at me*
Me: Yeah, Mommy doesn’t like Pee-Wee.
M&B: You’ve seen that fifty times. I thought you wanted something new?
DM: Spider-man 5!
M&B: *opens vodka*
Me: *throws on Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure*
Family movie nightmare is more like it.
It’s supposed to be relaxing! Sure, once whatever terrible movie my son chooses starts and I lean back on my phone while Mom and Buried drinks, it finally is. At least until it gets too late and we have to stop the movie because it’s Detective Munch’s bedtime. But it takes a while to get there. There are too many options!
It’s not Netflix’s fault. I had the same problem when I was a kid and I would wander into the local video store. So many choices that you keep thinking there’s something PERFECT on the next shelf, and then it’s two hours later and you’ve watched nothing. Only the technology has changed. Now you can do it from your couch, while your kids scream in the background.
I love family movie night, but I’ve learned that it takes forethought. If you don’t want to get fall prey to Selection Inertia, it takes planning. And it probably takes ditching whatever restrictions you have about content because your kid keeps asking to watch the latest live-action comic book flick and you’ve stopped caring because you just want the scrolling to stop.
When the latest superhero blockbuster hits Netflix, I put the over-under at twenty minutes of fruitless negotiations. Fine, six-year-old, you can watch Deadpool! Just stop crying!
Except for the ones Mom and Buried provides for me.