I was recently listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour’s podcast on pop culture breakups—quitting a show you’ve fallen out of love with or unsubscribing from a podcast that you dread appearing in your feed. According to PCHH, there are a few types of media consumers: the Bitter-Ender, someone who continues to consume despite growing dislike for the media, or a Quitter, someone who can abruptly quit and never go back.
I used to be a bitter-ender. I didn’t want the FOMO that comes with missing episodes of popular TV shows, or missing a vital bit of knowledge that could have impressed my friends during our next round of bar trivia night. An unfinished book felt like a major failure. If so many people appreciated the classics, why couldn’t I make it through as well?
Now, I am a proud quitter. If a show does not interest me anymore, I stop. I don’t like the last few chapters of my book, I return it to the library. Not only does this make my leisure time actually that—leisure time—instead of feeling like a chore, but I actually have more time for the things I do want to watch/listen/read to after cutting out the bad.
Why did I switch? Life is short (major duh), and I decided it is not worth my time to continue to consume content that does not bring me joy. What’s the downside? Maybe I can’t add my input to a casual coworker’s conversation about this week’s episode. Hardly a big deal—they’ll switch topics and you’ll be right back in the loop.
If you’re a bitter-ender, I challenge you to be a quitter for one week. If you don’t find yourself more relaxed with more free time, feel free to pick your pop culture back up. I have a feeling you’ll stick to my side.