You don’t watch TV? Get LOST

May 19, 2011 — by Aashna Mukerji

Sophomore Aashna Mukerji

In the days before technology, people amused themselves with writing. They read books, wrote letters, played games and took walks—all of which now sound completely alien to me as I vegetate in front of my computer screen, waiting for my next show to download online.

Having been born into the technology era, I can barely remember a time when I would pass up the opportunity to catch up on one of my favorite TV shows. The day I discovered that TV was available for free online was a major turning point in my life—whether it was for better or worse is debatable.

I vaguely recall carrying a book with me everywhere when I was in elementary school; I loved reading. Now, however, I can name more free-stream sites off the top of my head than books intended for my age group.

Being able to marathon an entire season of a show (like “Veronica Mars,” “One Tree Hill,” “Chuck,” etc) in one sitting isn’t something to be proud of, especially when you’ve done it multiple times. Nevertheless, it can be considered a skill and I’ve learned quite a few tips to aid me in my quest for Internet TV.

Knowing how to sync a link’s audio with a duplicate link’s video so that the characters no longer look like they’re speaking a different language takes practice. When clips take too long to load, opening them in multiple links at six-minute intervals saves valuable time. And always remember to click full-screen.

There was a point during my freshman year where I kept up with nine different shows at once. I was a few seasons behind on some of them, which left a whole host of “new” episodes at my disposal. My TV schedule effectively replaced my calendar. Instead of going out and interacting with real people, I regularly found myself choosing to catch up on old shows. I had a problem.

When the two-and-a-half hour series finale of “LOST” aired, I was living in Europe. It was being shown live at 5:30 a.m. due to the time difference, so my sister and I went to a friend’s house to watch it on his big-screen. We all had school the same day, but it was worth it.

I’m sure I’m not the only teenager who has experienced a TV overdose—when your head is pounding, your eyes ache and you can barely stay awake, but you can’t stop watching. I may, however, be one of the very few high schoolers who has managed to watch three seasons of a show in less than three days.

Once I arrived at SHS at the start of sophomore year from England, it dawned on me that my addiction was severely unhealthy. I spent full weekends in my bedroom, idly observing my unwatered plants grow moldy and die, wondering whether House and Cuddy would ever officially tie the knot. My grades took a sharp nosedive and I finally realized that if I wanted to get into a respectable college, praying for an extra 12 minutes on Megavideo was not the way to do it.

Currently, I’m on a strict real-television-only diet; no computers. I occasionally allow myself to browse my Netflix instant-queue for dessert, but the elimination of all other TV sites has helped my focus enormously (and I think my eyesight has improved as well). If I can hold out until after finals, I’ll be set.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll even try reading a book.

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