In Defense of Physical Media

As many of you know, I live with my boyfriend Kevin. It’s the first time I have lived with a romantic partner, and the first time I’ve lived with anybody at all for the last 2-ish years. While we are so, so happy with our decision to move in together, it has definitely brought on bumps in the road that would be expected anytime two very different people smash their lives into one place. But what I haven’t mentioned yet is the hardest part of all: our apartment is 669 square feet. We aren’t exactly swimming in space here, and we have pretty much maxxed out all of the storage space we have been allotted in our 1 month of living here. But something we have prioritized, and will continue to prioritize, is our love of physical media.

One of our favorite purchases has been our huge TV stand. It comes with 3 drawers and two cabinets, which we have quickly began filling with all of the Blu Rays we can get our hands on. And most days, when I want something on in the background, or we want to stop scrolling through Twitter for the 4th hour in a row, we will pick out a movie and throw it on the PS4. Sometimes, we even pop popcorn and eat it out of our hokey cheap popcorn buckets we got as party decorations over a year ago. It’s a ritual that is far more cathartic than binging a show or even playing a video game together. It’s something you can hold in your hands.

A fun little meme that people sometimes toss around is the idea that, by the time you are done deciding what you want to watch on Netflix, it is already time for you to go do something else. But with this newfound tradition Kevin and I have, we never reach that point. Our options feel finite in the most freeing way. I don’t get that same sense of content paralysis anymore, where there are too many options and I can’t decide, so I’ll pick none of them. Instead, I can look with my eyes and touch with my hands exactly what my choices are. I get to make a physical connection with the films that I love, rather than some ephemeral, abstract interest that goes away the moment I scroll past. There’s a sense of permanence to it that is reassuring as the world slowly lights on fire around us.

We’ve spoken on the podcast about how this current phase of Peak Content has affected our consumption habits and even our anxieties. For anyone out there who feels like we do, I would encourage you to invest in the things you care about. There’s a little bit of magic in owning the things that you love, and a release in the anxiety too. It’s been totally worth it for me, and I think it will be worth it for you too.

One thought on “In Defense of Physical Media

  1. I love this! I still buy CDs of my favorite albums. It’s a good backup in case my phone dies while driving, but it’s also nice to have a short list of the music I love easily available.

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