Welcome to my first-ever weekly newsletter! Simply, it feels different to be starting this. It also feels exciting, because the discipline of writing an honest, regular newsletter will keep me on track to read, learn and share more.
Thank you for being the first few subscribers.
This week, I want to talk about pleasure, fulfillment, and temptation.
So, here we go...
I don't have a Netflix account. But if I did, I am confident I would have not made good use of it. Despite it having many documentaries and informative TV shows, I would have probably spent countless hours watching the not-so-useful ones. In addition, I don't find it useful to pay for a service I know I will not use well.
However, AppleTV+ offers a year-long free subscription, something that seemed exciting. So, I naturally signed up for it over winter and watched a few episodes of For All Mankind and See.
Sure, I could've done something more productive with my time, instead of consuming this content, but it was still fun. I was relatively free from school work, and the prospect of binge-watching some interesting TV shows was compelling.
Last Friday, however, I experienced getting sucked in to watch See, as I binge-watched several episodes. Each episode ended on a cliffhanger and my mind would then tell itself, "Ah, let me watch another one and see what happens next."
The problem, however, was simple. The next episode also ended on a cliffhanger.
Inevitably, my pleasure soon turned into guilt-pleasure, and I realized I had fallen prey to precisely what every streaming service wanted from me: my attention.
So, as I reflect on my Friday night that continued well after 3am, I learned three things:
1) Short-term, easily accessible pleasure can leave you feeling unfulfilled in the long-run
The pleasure of watching See soon made me feel guilty about the lost time, even though it was extremely pleasurable in the beginning.
2) Humans are better at avoiding temptation instead of resisting it.
Yes, avoiding Netflix is much easier than having Netflix and choosing not to watch it.
3) Be careful of any bait.
AppleTV+ got me. Their business model succeeded: A free yearlong subscription would naturally habituate any user into getting addicted to their content, something that would result in a paid subscription.
In fact, the model has succeeded so much that, after I write this, I'm probably going to watch another episode.
Have a great, binge-free week ahead!
Video of the week
Podcast of the week
Here is the podcast.