A Quick Look at My Media Consumption

This year, I decided it would be fun to track how many movies, books, and television shows I consume. (What? You don’t find that fun? I guess we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.) And because everything’s more fun if it involves a spreadsheet, I’ve been entering in everything I read and watch into one, rating each entry on a scale from 1-10, jotting down the date I finished it, and how long (pages, minutes) it was.

Yes. I am strange. I get that.

But look at all the lovely data it gives me. If I hadn’t been doing this, I wouldn’t know, for example, that I’ve finished 10 books this year, giving them an average rating of 7.6, and totaling 5,011 pages. (Of course, that’s not the complete story. I’ve started quite a few other books, but didn’t enter or rate them, since I didn’t finish them. I finish almost all movies and tv episodes I start, but books . . . I set them aside if I don’t like them. Life is too short to waste my time on a book I don’t enjoy.)

How am I doing with movies? 46 movies watched so far this year, totaling 5,529 minutes, and averaging a 7.46. That’s a lot of movies. Over 92 hours. But then look at my television habits: 165 episodes, 7,313 minutes, 7.39 average. Almost 122 hours of television shows. Between movies and tv, I’ve almost watched 9 solid days of media in the first 105 days of this year. How in the world does it get to be that many? That seems like way too much.

Looking at my average day, however, brings things into focus. I watch when I’m exercising every day, so that accounts for about 45 minutes each day there. Doing the math, I’ve exercised for just over 3 days straight this year. Doesn’t “I exercised for three days straight” sound better than “I watched movies for 3 days straight”? The joys of multitasking . . .

Many days, we watch a single show as a family. Probably about 4 times a week. Doing the math, and that turns out to be around 2 days this year. Just one 45 minute show per day, 4 days a week–it adds up very quickly. Between that little bit of family time and my exercising, that’s 5 days of my 9 days of media.

Then again, I did some quick research to see what the average media consumption of an American adult is, and the results are far from pretty: 6 hours per day on movies and television, give or take. If I were following that average, I’d be at . . . 26 days of media in the first 105 days of the year.

Surprising, how quickly I can go from feeling like I’ve been watching maybe too much television and movies to feeling shocked that the rest of the country watches so much more. Then again, I have to assume a lot of people just have the television running while they’re doing other things. Multitasking.

Anyway. Some other interesting tidbits I’ve seen from doing this so far:

  • Rating things out of 10 is really quite silly. I thought it would allow me to be more precise, but I’ve only given out one 4 so far, and nothing lower than that. (The 4? Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Awful movie.) It would work just as well to give films a 0-5 star rating. Then again, it’s nice to be able to go into the negative range now and then . . .
  • Other bad movies of note? The 5s I dished out: Ender’s Game, 47 Ronin, Cleopatra, Amazing Spiderman 2, Fast and Furious 6. Yes, I don’t review every movie I watch on my blog. Not even close.
  • TV shows that stood out as bad? Not as many: Amazing Race 1:2, 1:7, 1:11, Under the Dome 2:2, Columbo 1:3, Downton Abbey 5:4, Sopranos 3:9, Doctor Who 1:2.
  • I’ve said the bad, now here’s the good: top movies so far (meaning ones I gave 10s to)? Return of the King, Groundhog Day, Touching the Void, Starbuck. Television shows? Sopranos 2:12, 3:11, Agents of SHIELD 1:20, Downton Abbey 5:9, Justified 2:7, 2:13. I’m stingy with my 10s.
  • Looking back on some of my ratings, I think I was perhaps a bit harsher toward the beginning of the year. I also think I’m influenced by my general mood at the time I watch something. How can I not be? Which leads me to wonder how many books or movies bombed because an important critic had had a bad day the day he/she watched/read it . . .

So that’s what I’ve got for you today. Anyone else keeping track of what they’re watching/reading?

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