Living in a World on Demand Part One

Netflix-Revamps-Logo
Image by Netflix

By Jay Ayer

How are you reading this article? Odds are you came across it while browsing the internet. This article could have been published today, yesterday, or even a decade ago, but that would not make much of a difference to you. Why? We live in a world on demand. Anything we want to watch, read, listen to, and buy, is at our fingertips and  only a press of a button away. Only a few short years ago, few people had access to this on demand world  as we do now. I am a part of the last generation that began life without most of the services we use today. I am amazed by the fact that most people who grow up from this point onward will never know a world without smartphones, without Facebook and YouTube, without Netflix and Spotify. When I was younger, just before the boom of on demand services, I would always dream of having the ability to watch any movie I wanted at any time, but now that I currently have that ability, I rarely use it. Recently, I have begun to wonder why I don’t use these services, and why I don’t take advantage of the uncountable forms of entertainment I have access to. I believe that I do not use these services as often as I am able to because I am still used to a life without them.

I believe that because I was raised mostly before on demand services were readily available to me, I am used to watching just what was on TV. I often find myself catching the middle of a movie like Forrest Gump (a movie I have seen over thirty times in my life) on TV and staying on that channel until the end of the movie. However, at any point in time I can switch to a new movie on Netflix, one that I have been wanting to watch for years, and I can never push myself to watch it. Odds are, if I come across a movie that is already playing, I will finish it, but I find difficulty in choosing a movie to begin and finish in one sitting. I spend most of my time on services like Netflix and Amazon Prime looking at the seemingly infinite number of shows and movies to pick which ones look interesting, and I end up spending two hours not choosing anything. For me, the library of films and shows I have access to is overwhelming.

The best comparison I can make to an issue in the real world involves money. Many people dream of having an infinite supply of cash all their lives, but if we did have infinite money, eventually it would grow tiresome. There would come a time when we would either get bored of what we have or get overwhelmed by the number of things we could buy. I have reached this point of overwhelming when it comes to media like music, television, and film. Because we live in a world on demand, there is so much to watch and listen to that we often take the endless supply of entertainment at our disposal for granted. I recognize this modern technological age for what it is, and I personally take on demand services for granted by saying, “I won’t start this now. I can watch it whenever I want.”

Living in a world on demand is not necessarily a bad prospect. On demand services are some of the best modern marvels of our world, but the ability to watch anything at any time leaves me with the inability to ever actually choose something to watch. As I have said, I am a part of the last generation that will ever probably know of another life before the rise of on demand services, and we know the difference between the world we were born into and the world on demand.

 

The Island Of Us

DONNE REAL
Poem by John Donne

By Jay Ayer

“No man is an island entire of itself.”

John Donne wrote those words as an opening to his poem ‘No Man is an Island.’ The poem serves as a representation of both our empathy for one another as humans and the one fate we all share: death. I mention the death and loss of people not to make people sad, but to remind everyone that we are all connected because that is what both of those concepts inherently do.  The loss and accompanying fear of losing a person are the ultimate reminders of how close we are as people on this planet. One prevailing theme of Donne’s poem is that, as humans, we all share the same problems and the same experiences. I’m writing this article because the last year and a half has reminded me of Donne’s poem and, subsequently, reminded me of the importance of us as people. I have begun to notice the problems of those around me more than I notice the problems in my life, and, through my observations and experiences, I have seen how applicable Donne’s words are.

“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.”

I said earlier that one of Donne’s points was that we share similar problems as humans. This point is the case because humans are empathetic creatures by nature, and when one person has a problem, we make his or her problem our problem. The past 18 months have shown me that this notion of empathy is true. In these months, I have seen people lose their loved ones and fear losing their loved ones. I am a human,  a creature empathetic by nature, so I have felt these people’s feelings along with them. In these past 18 months, I have lost one friend to leukemia, one to cancer, and one to depression. In these cases, I had not spoken to that person for years or only briefly before their passing, but I know people who spoke to those friends practically every day. So, when these friends passed, not only did I cry for them, but I cried for the people around them. I cried for my loved ones who felt a loss greater than mine. I cried because each of those events reminded me of how one day I will lose someone close to me, and I was  reminded of the importance of every human life. This importance is a concept that Donne addresses in his poem, as he implies that we are one continent as mankind. If any part of the continent disappears, then we are all affected. Just as the ocean eventually weathers away parts of a coastline, time takes its toll on mankind.  As time ticks away, we must hold close what is important to us.

Now, as I said, my point here is not to sadden people but to remind everyone that we are all connected and all exist under the name of mankind. One person’s suffering relates to everyone because everyone endures some kind of suffering in their lives. John Donne wanted to remind us that we all suffer, and we all have problems. He wanted to emphasize that we are not just individuals but a species connected through emotional hardship. I want everyone to realize that the people in their lives are important because our time here is so brief, and the most important aspects of our lives are the connections we make with other people. I write this article now for reasons similar to Donne’s reasons for writing his poem. I want people to realize and value what they have now,  but before what or who they have has disappeared forever.

From The Editor: A Semester In Review

WISDOM (2)

By Jay Ayer

As the students of the University of West Florida prepare for finals week, I would like to look back at the 2016-2017 school year. Particularly, I would like to look at how UWF Infinite Wisdom has evolved over the course of this Spring semester. When Joseph Cox and I took our positions as the editors of Infinite Wisdom, we both had similar goals in mind regarding the blog itself. We both saw in this blog an opportunity to showcase the experiences, talents, and various beliefs of the students in the Kugelman Honors Program. Every post since the beginning of the semester has been excellent, and we have had multiple students both volunteer to be staff writers and to donate freelance articles.

Infinite Wisdom is not just the title of this website. It is what we post, share, and discuss on this site. Infinite Wisdom is an eclectic summation of all the beliefs, personalities, and values presented by our writers. We value every viewpoint of every student that writes for us because those viewpoints are the wisdom in the title of this blog. With the wisdom from the students who write for us, we all learn the importance of love, mental health, leadership, leaving a legacy, and introspection on several levels. With each article posted this semester, we have redefined what the term ‘Infinite Wisdom’ truly means, and each article we post after this one will continue to redefine that term.

As Editor in Chief of UWF Infinite Wisdom, it is my privilege to work with our writers, read about everyone’s beliefs, and share those beliefs with the world. I would like to personally thank every staff writer, freelance writer, editor, and reader of Infinite Wisdom for making this semester one of the most successful periods this website has ever seen.

Thank you to the Infinite Wisdom staff for spreading your wisdom with the world, and thank you to the readers for constantly supporting our writers.

We at Infinite Wisdom look forward to spreading more wisdom as we continue to experience new things in our lives.