Productive Leisure

It’s rather obvious these days, but I remember being awestruck as a teenager when I first realized that there were more books in the world than any one person could ever read in their lifetime.

I was (and still am) quite interested in science fiction television shows, and I wondered if I’d see a day where there would be more high quality, interesting science fiction shows to watch than any interested viewer could view in their lifetime.

It’s not quite there yet for science fiction, but the idea is becoming more tangible. There’s now a wealth of highly-acclaimed television shows to binge on services like Netflix and Hulu. Youtube has 100 hours of new video uploaded every minute.

Since my leisure time is capped (only so many hours in a day, even if I do spend an extra weekend here or there bingeing), I’ve started thinking about how I pick the things I want to watch.¬†With all the great content available, the bar for content I’m willing to invest time on is being raised.

Along the way, I’ve also noticed something rather interesting. I get the same sort of leisure and enjoyment out of good documentaries, ted talks, debate videos, presentations, and lectures as I do watching shows predominantly made for entertainment.¬†

If I can find content that is both entertaining and educational rather than just entertaining, would it not be preferable to spend more time on former rather than the latter?

In practice, I still make plenty of room for fun entertainment. I look forward to the latest episode of Game of Thrones, and it’s a lot more enjoyable to sit down and watch X-Men with my girlfriend than a panel discussion on the economics of the developing world. However, the educational value of the content I consume is playing a much larger role in my choices, and that’s something I’m excited about!