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Too Much of a Good Thing: Streaming Fatigue and What You Can Do About It

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Image credit: Pinho/Unsplash

Watching TV used to be something I enjoyed, but lately it’s starting to feel an awful lot like work. There are so many new TV shows and movies coming out every week, every month, every year, that it had become overwhelming. I start a new show, then end up dropping off after the first season because eight new shows I’m interested in came along.

It wasn’t that long ago that things were very different. When streaming was in its infancy and we collected DVDs, then Blu-ray collection, you would find something you liked and watch it over and over. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I can make it through an entire show once. Sound familiar?

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What Is Streaming Fatigue?

Streaming fatigue is becoming a talked about term, so I know this just isn’t affecting me. What exactly is streaming fatigue though?

One sign that you’re suffering from streaming fatigue is that you feel like you have too many choices. This has been a problem for a while now. Most people who have at least a Netflix account know the experience of trying to decide what to watch for an hour, only to eventually give up and go to bed without watching anything.

You also might feel like I do, like you can’t keep up. This is very much a first world problem, but it’s still a problem. What is the point of paying for all of these services if you’re not watching new shows as they come out. The problem with this approach is that you very rarely have the time to finish anything.

If you stream on the go or you’re on a bandwidth-capped network connection, you might even notice you’re hitting your cap or being throttled. Short of paying more, there’s not much you can do, and paying more doesn’t always guarantee a higher cap.

What Is Where Again?

In the battle between various companies to get your eyes focused on their own streaming services, content is taking a major hit. A movie or TV show that is available on Netflix one week might not be available anywhere the next. If you want to watch it now, you need to buy it, rent it, or sign up for the latest streaming service.

For years now, Hulu has been the home of Seinfeld, for example. That won’t be the case for long, as the LA Times recently reported that Netflix will be the home of the sitcom beginning in 2021. This is only going to happen more as companies fight for your attention, not less.

While TV shows often show up somewhere else, movies will often disappear for weeks or months at a time. Sometimes they’re not even available for rental. This is helping to contribute to streaming fatigue as much as anything, as keeping up with what is and isn’t available can be a daunting task.

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Not Sure What You’re Subscribed To? You’re Not Alone

Even if you’re only subscribed to a few services, it can be tough to keep up. This is especially true if you subscribe to other things outside of video streaming services.

Keeping tack of your Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Spotify subscriptions can be tough enough. Throw in HBO Now, DC Universe, CBS All Access, Disney+, or a few others and it can get very complicated very quickly. It doesn’t help that new services are coming out seemingly every day.

Then there’s the fear of missing out. You could just subscribe to Netflix, but what if a hot show launches on Hulu or HBO Now? You probably want to have them too, just in case.

What Can You Do to Fight Streaming Fatigue?

If you feel like you’re suffering from streaming fatigue, simply giving up on one or all of your subscriptions for a while. Maybe just stop watching TV for a while period. There are plenty of other things you can do like read, play a video game, or play some board games.

Assuming you don’t want to give up on TV cold turkey for a month or so, recommendations can be handy. These help you out because you don’t have to worry as much about choosing what to watch. Pick a show from a list of a few of them, then stick with it. Once you’ve finished that show or at least a season, move on to something else.

We can help there, as we have a few lists of TV shows restricted to a single streaming service. Have Amazon? Take a look at our list of geeky TV shows on Amazon Prime. Prefer Netflix? We have a list of similar geeky shows for Netflix, and another list of geeky shows just for Hulu.

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