Because I was at my parents’s house all weekend, I saw a lot of commercials on TV and heard a lot of jingles on the radio. It’s fascinating how quickly what was once normal has become an intrusion in my life. I grew up, first, with a TV with a physical dial, then a box with physical buttons. Both required someone to stand up and cross the room to change the channel. When we got out first remote, it was plugged into the VCR with a cord.
As the oldest of Millennials, I grew up with the before and after. The first TV I bought for myself had a VCR built in. This was at the same time we started downloading songs with Napster. The liminal space of my adolescence was also the liminal space of ‘90s technology.
When I moved out the last time, I didn’t plan to buy a TV. I didn’t plan to pay for cable. But the package was included in my rent, so I figured, hey, it’s a good chance to try out this DVR technology everyone loves.
I love fast-forwarding commercials. I don’t watch anything live. My parents won’t even mute the commercials, and I just can’t handle it anymore.
I unplugged my TV and DVR. I need a complete break from the intrusion of technology into my life. I don’t have a microwave to beep at me. My stovetop kettle lives with the whistle disabled. I get zero notifications on my phone and laptop. An envelope arrived from my bank, even after I unchecked all those boxes.
But if you want to write me a letter, please do.