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Too Many Movies

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.”

― Sylvia PlathThe Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I read this quote for the first time about a year ago, and I have never related to anything more in my life.

I'm like most people: I love books, TV, travel, music and, more than anything, movies. I'm interested in current events, science, nature, politics, and the lives of fascinating people. These interests create a huge problem.

The world is HUGE, and there are too many books (129,864,880+), too many TV shows (over 400 scripted shows in 2015 alone), too many albums to listen to (here's a list of just the ones released in 2015) and, most dreadful of all, too many movies (500k+) for me to consume in my lifetime. Granted, there are always going to be things I have NO interested in, but even eliminating those still leaves a staggering number of every type of media I love.

Like I said, this is a huge problem, but this is a GREAT problem to have. In theory, I'm never going to run out of things to watch, read, see, and listen to (from this point on, I'm going to focus on movies) For a few months, I've been tracking the films I've seen on Letterboxd (follow me here). I've only seen about 1,000+ films. My watchlist contains almost the same amount of films. That means that there are 498k films I haven't even considered yet. While that number brings on a sense of existential dread sometimes, it also makes me crazy excited.

It helps that we all live in an age when home video exists on several formats, several TV channels primarily show films, and streaming services are abundant and easily accessible. Even though it's easier to see everything you want, between work, school, and responsibilities, you can't. 

My argument is maybe that's a good thing. It keeps your life balanced. It keeps you excited to watch the movies you want to watch (or whatever the equivalent is for you). You're not doing it all the time, so you're never going to get sick of it. Plus, you should probably interact with people from time to time. Netflix will never leave you, sure, but social skills are a good thing to develop. Then maybe you can go see a movie with someone else. Think about it.

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