How we watch now

Stuck at home, people have changed how they consume entertainment


Becky Arendarczyk

Watching movies and shows on Netflix has always been a social activity for teenagers. But shelter-in-place has changed how people consume media together — and how creators release media — possibly forever.

Jared Bysiek, Features Editor

Two students are getting ready to watch a movie. They’ve both been busy with schoolwork, so it’s a relief to finally be able to wind down. But before they can start, they begin to count down, “Three, two, one!” Both click play at zero, trying to make sure they’re in-sync. For the first time in a while, the two of them aren’t watching the movie together, but over a video call. With the Coronavirus keeping people separated, many have begun to consume entertainment differently than they normally did leading up to it.

Everyone is familiar with using streaming services already. With services like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ people are able to have access to a vast amount of shows and movies right from the comfort of their home. It wasn’t uncommon to get together with some friends and have fun watching shows or movies together.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine, many students are starting to use streaming services and things like social media more frequently than they used to. With nothing much to do stuck at home, people feel like there are empty spaces in their day, or like they simply have nothing to do. 

“Yes, I’d say that. I have been using streaming services way more often now that we are under quarantine, it gives me something to do so the day doesn’t feel extremely long and boring,” says junior Erin Wieronski. “I tend to start a new series on Netflix very often now along with that I have been watching a lot of YouTube and listening to Spotify almost constantly.”

Some forms of entertainment have also begun to change how they work to accommodate the situation. Certain directors and corporations have released new movies straight to streaming services, rather than delay their releases as other people have done. And as mentioned in a recent article, musicians and artists have started to do things like live performances over social media. 

Of course, when some hear about how much entertainment and social media we are now consuming, there’s worry about people becoming disconnected and spending too much time on these things. While it may sometimes seem like that, this doesn’t mean people aren’t using the free time for things like hobbies, or family.

“We are all used to going out and seeing concerts and now it’s all via live streams and it’s a very disconnected feeling,” said senior Devin Goggin. “[But] I also believe this time is giving people a chance to find new hobbies or even spend more time with their families. So I do believe the use of board games, and video games are becoming more prominent as well as the use of phone and video calling.”

Being stuck at home has given a lot of people free-time they don’t always know how to fill. Because of this, things like social media and streaming services have become a great way for many to occupy that time or stay sane. However, this doesn’t mean it’s all people do now. Doing things like pursuing hobbies and spending time bonding with family have also been used to keep busy. But while stuck at home, it makes sense to check out some new shows and movies.