Getting into Netflix is just one of those things that sort of happens. Either you go the subscription, or like me you just got added to someone else’s account and used it like a leach. However it happened, by now I bet you’ve gotten pretty used to having access to lots of streaming content whenever you want it. If you’re like me, you’ve also probably spent more time browsing through possible choices than you’ve actually spent streaming content. Well, here’s a revolutionary idea — why not try canceling your Netflix?
My Netflix Got Canceled in 2020 — It Was One of the Best Things to Happen to Me
Despite being a grown man, married with a house, I was still on my wife’s parent’s Netflix account when the unthinkable occurred — my Netflix was canceled! If you were paying attention up above, I had the bad habit of spending way too much time browsing through Netflix’s (now growingly less extensive) content library. I also relied on it for most of my entertainment needs. Yes, I’m sad to say I was even one of those people who looked forward to the first of the month to see what new movies and shows had been added. However, it’s been months now since I’ve had Netflix. And what joyous, blissful months they’ve been! I didn’t realize how much there was to the world before my Netflix got canceled.
Reason to Cancel Netflix #1 — Get Time Back in Your Life
Although I never quit reading altogether, I certainly read a lot less before my Netflix got canceled. Suddenly, however, with the big gaping hole caused by the removal of the thing that had virtually become an appendage over the last several years, I found myself with ample time to focus my mind on alternative forms of entertainment. Although I had certainly not stopped reading articles online or various nonfiction books, my attention to novels and fiction had grown scant. After all — why bother reading a novel when you can watch a movie? Not long after canceling Netflix I found myself sitting in front of the TV glancing through my bookshelf for classics I’d acquired some time ago but not actually found the time to read. One of the first things I read was “A Farewell to Arms” by Earnest Hemingway. Without Netflix there to distract and numb my mind, it was easier to dive into nobler pursuits.
Reason to Cancel Netflix #2 — As Streaming Wars Grow, Netflix’s Content Library Lessens
Another reason to cancel Netflix in 2021 is simply because there are so many other options out there now. Disney+, Peacock and Amazon Prime are virtually just as good as the video streaming pioneer. Slowly, Netflix’s content library is lessening, forcing them to invest more and more into creating their own stuff. Take, for example, the resent removal of “The Office” from Netflix. I tried ordering the DVDs for my friend a couple weeks ago and found that the series was in incredible demand — going for as much as $150 dollars some places. Apparently I’m not the only one noticing the number of quality shows slowly trickling away from Netflix. And as for Netflix’s original content — is it worth the investment in and of itself? I think not. Most of their content ranges from bad to down right disturbing. Except for a few really good, quality shows, there’s just not much there anymore. It’s become a post apocalyptic video streaming wasteland, a shadow of its former self.
Reason to Cancel Netflix in 2021 #3 — Buying Content is Pretty Cheap these Days
Have you been to a used video store recently? I just dropped into Rasputin Records and Video the other day and I was amazed. Blu Rays go for less than five bucks now! That’s super cheap. I suppose the reason for this is that as 4k begins to take over, Blu Ray becomes less desirable. Perhaps. However, in order to take advantage of 4k via streaming, you need to pay premium costs — this is not covered in your basic Netflix plan. Additionally, not all of Netflix’s content is available in 4k Ultra HD, so you are basically paying premium fees for a select number of shows/movies. Also, the difference between 4k and Blu Ray is often so negligible that many people can’t even spot the difference.
That means these hyper cheap Blu Rays are just as good quality as most of what you get on streaming. Additionally, when you buy a Blu Ray, you actually own that Blu Ray. You don’t own anything on Netflix and it can go away at a moment’s notice.
Reason to Cancel Netflix #4 — Pay Only for What You Want to Watch
Additionally, when you actually buy your own stuff instead of relying on a streaming service to decide what you can or cannot watch, you just pay for what you want. Paying for streaming is like buying an entire row of an airplane for yourself just because you like the window seat. You don’t end up using most of what you pay for!
An added benefit of buying content for yourself is that other people besides big tech get the money (assuming you steer clear of Amazon). And if that doesn’t make you feel good about your purchasing decisions, I don’t know what will.
Reason to Cancel Netflix #5 — Stop the Endless Scrolling
There are plenty of excuses these days to mindlessly scroll for hours. Don’t let your entertainment time become one of them. Decision fatigue is a real thing, and having endless titles to scroll through after a day of making other kinds of decisions can be draining. It’s also a chore to decide on something to watch during social events when you have the entire world of streaming at your disposal. Instead, if you limit your choices down to that new movie you picked up recently, or to what’s on your shelf, I bet you’ll find the process much less tiring.
Also, while it is handy to be able to quickly click on the episode or movie you want to watch without dealing with discs, it’s also incredibly tempting while watching something via streaming to just at any moment switch to something else. The emotional buy in, however, that it takes to select a disc you want to watch and actually boot up in your player is much greater. By the time the movie is going, you are invested in seeing it through because you took the effort to get off your butt and get it going.
Okay, I’m not saying all streaming is bad. I’ll still use it occasionally when it’s convenient for me. But I think we should really think about the ways we consume entertainment going forwards. I still don’t know what I’m going to do when the Witcher Season 2 comes out, or when the new season of Stranger Things airs. I’ll probably have to find a friend to watch it with. However, liking two shows on a platform filled with dubious content does not warrant paying a monthly fee. At least not to me.
Originally published at https://www.josephwriteranderson.com on January 19, 2021.