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Why Can’t I Watch Anything?

Why. Can’t. I. Watch. Anything. This is more of a frustrated exclamation rather than an actual question. I know the answer, ADHD, and it sucks. But I also think it might be a little more complicated than that.

On Twitter I often talk about how annoyed I am at myself for spending literally HOURS just scrolling and posting tweets nobody even likes rather than watching a movie or show I want to see. And I’ll stay mad at myself and brood rather than actually do anything about it. It doesn’t make any SENSE, because obviously writing requires more energy than sitting or lying down and I know that. In a controlled environment like a movie theater or even my TV at home (with my phone not in sight) I have no problem watching a movie without getting distracted. That’s in part why I loved my film classes so much-the choice was relinquished from me. I had to watch movies at a certain time on a certain day with the class. And it was totally fine! But more often than not I’m on my iPad because my house is relatively small and I don’t want to disturb my parents watching a movie on a big screen and there’s something about Twitter that’s so intoxicating, it’s right there, all I have to do is click a button and… fuck. Now I’ve paused the movie like 80 times and it takes me all day to watch it.

This is agony, but somehow I’m even worse with TV shows. I can count on one hand the number of shows I have actually watched start to finish. I restarted Cheers and The West Wing over the summer and haven’t touched either of them in months. Likewise with a few K-dramas I still haven’t finished.

It is a very strange phenomenon. Like, I can tell you anything about Nargis, I have two books on her and I want another one. She is literally my favorite actress of all time and I’ve still only seen Mother India. Jayne Mansfield is one of my favorite celebrities-still only seen one of her movies. I’m like this with a few other women I stan too. I think a part of it is that I just hate watching bad things, or I’m afraid I’m wasting my time (even though all I do is waste time on Twitter) or maybe I don’t want their image tainted in my mind or something but it’s weird. Ultimately I’m interested in talking about them, learning as much as I can and loving them as people, and I know there’s no wrong way to be a fan of someone and I WILL watch these movies eventually, it’s just hard to get me to do.. anything, really. Besides tweet.

I also know quite a lot about the Bollywood industry after being introduced to it through Nargis/Mother India last year, but it took me only until a few months ago to really start getting into the movies and I’m proud of that at least. It is a very tedious practice to get me to watch anything and I’m now watching films on a regular basis. Have you ever experienced anything like this at all? I’m pretty sure it’s limited to people with ADHD but maybe not. I wish I could somehow hyperfixate on the process of watching movies so I could watch like 5 a day like some of you do, but also that sounds really terrifying so…whatever. It’s just really annoying. And maybe I’m exposing myself as a “bad fan” but I don’t care. I’m WORKING on it, okay?

One reply on “Why Can’t I Watch Anything?”

Watching with subtitles on really helps me and a lot of others in a peer group I’m in. Also just embracing “hey, I may need to read the wikipedia summary of what happens in this episode literally while I’m watching it because I spaced. Or watch the same episode a few times to fully process. The nice thing about watching tv is there really is no reason not to just watch the same thing over and over or whatever else it takes. Things watched for fun should just be fun. No mental pressure.

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