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The Watching Hour

I'm not big into New Years resolutions. Probably because, like everyone else, I never stick to them.
First Draught
The Watching Hour
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #147 • View online
I’m not big into New Years resolutions. Probably because, like everyone else, I never stick to them. But I do like the concept of New Year ideas – totally different, you see – and I make a list of those to start each year. One such idea I think could resonate with more folks, just given the amount of chatter I see around “using devices less” in 2019: I’ll call it ‘The Watching Hour’.
Here’s the gist: we all watch a ton of content at home these days: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, etc. And we often do that while using our “second screen”; our phone. What if we picked one? What if we committed to no second screen while watching the first one?
I like this idea for a few reasons. First, it’s decidedly not a big ask. I’m not asking you to not use your phone while laying in bed. Or standing in line. Or avoiding other human beings. I’m saying not to use it while you’re watching another glowing, backlit slab of pixels.
I actually think about this a lot. One of the reasons I still enjoy going to movie theaters (well, some movie theaters) is because I stick to the proper etiquette of not using my phone in the theater. And I’m always rewarded in the end as a result with a much better viewing experience. This is obviously not true at home – I’m always on the phone – and yet the times when I decide I’m not going to pick up the device, I’m always happier at the end of my viewing experience.
And I think you will be too. Not always, mind you. I’m not a total buzzkill here – I think using your phone while watching some great, mindless television (we’re currently very into The Great British Bakeoff) is totally fine. Dip in and out as you wish. But there is so much great narrative content on the streaming services these days which will prove even better with your undivided attention.
I know this is all obvious. But I obviously know we’re all guilty here.
So maybe if you really want to use your device less this year, just try putting down that small screen while you watch the bigger one? Just try it. Just for an hour?
Drinking: a Barebottle Pineapple Pineapple Shakes 🍻

5ish Links
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The Persistence of Memory
Virgin Galactic Reaches Space
A Stats-Based Look Behind the Venture Capital Curtain
Gmail Makes Me Feel Like a Robot
500ish Words
A Somewhat Negative Review of a Product I Love: the New iPad Pro
The Microsoft Comes Around
A Giphy To Go
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