Making a tech addict
Miko Malabute | Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Over my last semester break as an undergraduate, I joined what seemed to be the rest of the millennial generation in binge-watching the newest, hottest Netflix series, “Making a Murderer,” a 10-part documentary series chronicling the mysterious, confusing murder case surrounding Steven Avery, his nephew Brendan Dassey and the tragic victim Teresa Halbach.
For those unfamiliar with the series or the case it covers, it looks at how Avery was wrongfully convicted of a crime and mistakenly (or perhaps not so mistakenly, if you have your tinfoil hat on to go along with your conspiracy theories) imprisoned for 18 years. Then, shortly after his release, he became the prime suspect of the homicide of Halbach. He was thrown in jail once again, along with his nephew Dassey. This time it was seemingly for life.
The series is dark and cynical, which especially nowadays is the key to making a compelling piece of entertainment.
Like everyone else, I raced through the entire series. Even though I grew more and more intrigued (as well as frustrated, outraged and bemused) with the case, I also found myself getting sadder and more despondent. This was not just from the content, but because I knew I had just spent more than 10 hours doing quite literally nothing worthwhile.
So then I tried not to be a complete wastrel of a human being and decided to try something new during my month or so at home. So I did what any 21-year-old male with noodle arms, misshapen legs and a constantly fluctuating ego would do: I signed up for a month-long membership at my local gym. It was, at the very least, an excuse to get out of the house and remind myself that I have my own life to live.
In my hometown, the local YMCA is juxtaposed to the gym. As I drove past there, there was an interesting message on the marquee: “Unplug from your phones / Reconnect with your families.” This message was absolutely what I needed to bring me back to life following that emotional beatdown of a documentary series.
At the risk of sounding like the old man yelling at the kids to get off his lawn, I am now all about turning the screen off and just reconnecting with people, rediscovering the human aspect of our communities. Don’t get me wrong, I obviously consume more than my fair share of Netflix and all — just come find me during finals week — but that constant isolation as you stare at a screen (especially when you’re watching a series like “Making a Murderer”) is just downright depressing. So, yes, this might be a little preachy, but this semester, try to take out the earphones and go reconnect with people.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.