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Leah’s Lens: The 21st century’s biggest rip-off

Leahs+Lens%3A+The+21st+centurys+biggest+rip-off
Kaitlyn Close

Picture this: It is a beautiful wintry Sunday in Boone, and you have completed your homework. You decide nothing would be better than a day of watching all your favorite movies. You start off with a classic, “Tangled” on Disney+, then realize you actually want to watch “Someone Great,” which is on Netflix; you then get a hankering for “New Girl,” which you forgot is now on Hulu. You have now spent 20 minutes of your calm Sunday going through streaming services and reaching into the depths of your brain to think of your passwords for each one, an already antagonizing task. All this frustration could be avoided if everything you wanted was in one place.

As of this moment, there are over 200 streaming services available worldwide. Some of the most popular include Netflix, Hulu, Max, Disney+ and Prime Video. It has gotten to the point where it is far too difficult to keep track of each streaming service and which of your favorites are on each streaming service. This certainly derails the enjoyment of a movie or show and is often extraordinarily frustrating. 

Another colossal turn-off of the variety of streaming services is the cost. The average U.S. resident spends $48 a month on streaming. One of Hulu’s plans, which includes live television, Disney+ and ESPN+, is either $76.99 a month with advertisements or $89.99 without. In this economy, that much for just a few streaming services is ridiculous. 

In this day and age, technology is at the forefront of millions of people’s lives, which can be a blessing and a curse. It is nearly impossible to avoid seeing the horrors of today’s world, and many people use TV or movies as a way to escape. It is unfortunate that one has to pay an ungodly amount just to watch their favorite show nowadays and is certainly a deterrent from escaping through TV.

It is illogical to propose a universal streaming service or revert back to the old ways; however, lives would be made much simpler, as well as less financially consuming, if a better system was in place. Deals could be made between streaming providers to merge platforms or create a two-for-one bargain. Alleviating the financial burden of entertainment would be enticing to consumers, potentially increasing subscriptions as well as user enjoyment: a win for both parties. 

Media consumption was easier, more logical and overall better before streaming services. Anxiously awaiting your favorite cartoon on a Saturday morning was an incomparable experience; kids today can simply find any episode they want immediately. Rushing to get snacks or use the bathroom during commercial breaks felt like a war against the world, but the reward was well worth it. Do children now even know what a commercial is? 

There was no greater joy than when a teacher pulled an old TV into the classroom and announced it was movie day; there was no greater anticipation than waiting for movies to arrive in the DVD section of stores. These experiences are mere memories now that streaming has taken over the world. There was also an element of surprise that made cable that much more exciting. These days, everyone knows what media is available to them. The vast amount of choices can be wonderful when you are bored but has also been proven to cause a lot of anxiety.

Streaming has proved itself to be one of the biggest blessings of the 21st century while simultaneously being one of the worst curses. With it being a wonderful way to sit back and relax, it has also proven itself capable of being a burden. Regardless of how improbable going back to the old ways is, nothing yet has amounted to the joy felt after finding your favorite movie on the cable guide. And in this day and age, that joy would be quite a nice gift.

 

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About the Contributors
Leah Boone, Opinion Editor
Leah Boone (she/her/hers) is a junior chemistry major. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
Pruett Norris, Multimedia Editor
Pruett Norris (he/him) is a senior double majoring in English with a concentration in Film Studies and Electronic Media/Broadcasting. This is his second year with The Appalachian.
Kaitlyn Close, Graphics Editor
Kaitlyn Close (she/her) is a senior Graphic Design major and Digital Marketing minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
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  • M

    MuChaoFeb 8, 2024 at 7:05 am

    And here I am thinking that the biggest rip-off’s are things like a complete lack of affordable healthcare, jobs that don’t pay a living wage, the rapidly increasing costs of college all to pay for failing athletics programs and over-paid (and completely unnecessary) administrators, the stripping away of freedoms by christo-fascist theocrats, the monopolization of multiple industries as we fall back into another “Gilded Age,” a military industrial complex receiving nearly $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars year after year, the accelerating loss of biodiversity and increase in climate disruptions because those in power are too cowardly or too corrupt (or both) to address the issues head-on…

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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