Netflix is Officially Testing Out a Live Channel Feature

It’s amazing how things come around from time to time. At first, the TV gave people the option to see what they were hearing, rather than just listen to it on the radio, then more channels, more shows, and more options opened up as the years went by, and people were willing to latch onto and watch what they wanted and turn the TV off for the rest of the time. Then cable really ramped up and started playing movies and continued to expand its content, and people still watched what they wanted or just what was on to pass the time. Then streaming eventually came, and the need to watch time-consuming and boring commercials were gone, and people could actually pick and choose what they wanted and make their own playlists in order to watch what they wanted, when they wanted, without interruptions. Now, Netflix is coming out with an option known as Direct that will be a live channel feature that sounds almost like TV, but it will recommend shows to the viewer, thus taking some of the guesswork out of it and almost eliminating the ‘anxiety’ of having to select your own program. Is anyone else really buying into this? Does no one remember being the actual channel changer that would have to get up, walk across the room to the TV, adjust the frequency knob and the channel knob, and perhaps even adjust the rabbit ears?

Now we’re depending on the technology that we’re so dependent on already to make our choices for us, thereby taking a little more of the human element out of it. Maybe if someone is anxious about selecting their own program to watch they shouldn’t be watching TV in the first place, since at one point and time a lot of people would have given a lot to have more choices, and now it sounds as though it’s overwhelming to people to have so many. This is when older generations tend to say ‘boo-hoo’ in as sarcastic a manner as they can since having so much entertainment at your fingertips isn’t a burden, it’s a privilege, and it’s one that shouldn’t be able to make a person anxious. If it takes an individual that long to decide on what to watch then maybe they’re better off not watching anything. Granted, when the weather turns foul outside and people don’t want to go anywhere it’s nice to have the option of curling up on the couch and enjoying a movie or a series, but if you really need a program that will tell you what to watch and what’s interesting and new then the idea of having so many choices has become irrelevant since people wanted more and they got it, and now that they have more they don’t know what to do with it. How in the world does that happen?

Direct apparently hasn’t come to America yet since it debuted in France earlier this month and Netflix is wanting to see how it does before pushing it forward. But hopefully, it will prove to be a little less than useful, even though that’s wishful thinking. It’s enough to make a person laugh in the most sarcastic way possible since thinking that anxiety can be brought on by having too many shows and movies to pick from is a bit hilarious. There might be plenty of people that will be more than willing to say that Direct will help them in a big way, but the whole idea of streaming and having so many options at your fingertips is that you get to choose, and this service doesn’t feel as though it’s moving forward but is instead granting permission for people to slide back into a comfort zone that some folks are too young to even remember. A lot of us are old enough to recall when having more channels and more options would have been nice, but the technology at the time was so limited that we had to be happy with what we had, and we were for the most part. But in a time when people literally have hundreds to thousands of titles at their disposal, thinking that they can’t just pick a couple and watch them before moving on to another show or movie is beyond ludicrous. Decision-making is part of being an adult after all and if you can’t even bring yourself to decide which shows or movies you want to watch then it’s fair to say that you haven’t made it all the way to adulthood yet.

At the risk of insulting anyone, this idea really needs to be thought through again in an attempt to determine whether people really need this or not. If we’re going to backslide all the way into the old days when what we watched was in the hands of someone else, maybe someone can bring the rabbit ears back at some point.

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