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I Don't Feel Inspired to Consume Media Anymore

Retreater

Legend
I feel like during the pandemic I haven't been able to focus on anything long-term. I haven't finished a novel, watched a substantial television series, and haven't even touched my video games (which I used to collect).
Nothing seems good enough. If I'm not caught in the first few minutes, or if it seems too long or too confusing, I don't want to do it. If I watch anything, it's hockey in the background or little YouTube videos. If I play anything, it's a few levels of a classic Mario game. Reading is delegated to social media posts or a few pages of a D&D book.
Wandavision, Bad Batch, Mortal Kombat, Justice League, Wonder Woman 84, etc. - I dropped out of all of them within 30 minutes or less.
Has anyone else had this issue? Any tips in getting your brain back into it?
(Oddly, I can stay engaged only if I'm actively creating something. So if I'm running D&D, painting, writing a book, etc., I'm fine.)
 

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R_J_K75

Hero
Same here. I've found my concentration is next to nothing. Further my tolerance for other people has also gotten pretty low. I'm easily aggravated, distracted and have little motivation to do anything. Its either this or I'll get a burst of energy for a day or so. I think as the years go on its going to come to light that the pandemic is going to have more long lasting effects on a lot of people whether they had COVID or not than thought.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Has anyone else had this issue? Any tips in getting your brain back into it?

So, while I cannot say what's up with you, I have seen a bunch of reports that this kind of thing is not at all uncommon these days. The pandemic introduced everone to higher levels of long-term stress and/or anxiety. For many, it screws with attention spans and engagement. So, it is probably reasonable to say that millions of people have had similar issues this past year.

(Oddly, I can stay engaged only if I'm actively creating something. So if I'm running D&D, painting, writing a book, etc., I'm fine.)

Well, that's pretty excellent, actually.

There is no virtue in consuming media, in and of itself - its only value is in how well it entertains you. If media doesn't grab you right now, it doesn't, and that's perfectly okay. There's not a whole lot of need to find a way to get back into it - that will come, or not, as it will. Until it does, maybe you should focus on those creative activities.
 

Ryujin

Hero
I feel like during the pandemic I haven't been able to focus on anything long-term. I haven't finished a novel, watched a substantial television series, and haven't even touched my video games (which I used to collect).
Nothing seems good enough. If I'm not caught in the first few minutes, or if it seems too long or too confusing, I don't want to do it. If I watch anything, it's hockey in the background or little YouTube videos. If I play anything, it's a few levels of a classic Mario game. Reading is delegated to social media posts or a few pages of a D&D book.
Wandavision, Bad Batch, Mortal Kombat, Justice League, Wonder Woman 84, etc. - I dropped out of all of them within 30 minutes or less.
Has anyone else had this issue? Any tips in getting your brain back into it?
(Oddly, I can stay engaged only if I'm actively creating something. So if I'm running D&D, painting, writing a book, etc., I'm fine.)
I've been feeling some of this, mostly to do with reading. Just can't seem to plow right through a book the way that I used to. On the other hand I've used the ability to concentrate when creating to improve in my leatherwork. Just did my first project, for a friend, that wasn't just a purchased pattern, or a modified version of a purchased pattern.

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Slow_Travel

Explorer
I think ... it's because all of the media you mentioned isn't very good. As consumers, we've been in a lurch with movies. It's all C- garbage food pushed out by studios with cartoon money signs in their eyes. I know I feel what your'e feeling. I'm so tired of the paint-by-numbers stuff being placed in front of our noses. I'm sure you'll slide back into watching something fun soon.

<cut to scene in Godfather III with Michael Corleone> Just when I thought I was out, they drag me back IN!

Maybe you just gotta "rotate the crops" in your downtime activities. I say keep creating! Keep drawing, painting, outlining RPG scenarios, etc.
 


With everything we've all been dealing with for the past year+, sticking to tried and true joys rather than diving into new media isn't the worst thing you could be doing. We're at this weird post-burnout phase where we're all a little crispy, having been dealing with mental, emotional, and physical strains the likes of which we've never had to before.

For me, I never stopped reading throughout the pandemic, but part of that was that I made sure I maintained the same dedicated reading time, despite not having a commute.
 

Has anyone else had this issue? Any tips in getting your brain back into it?

I have been fighting the exact same problem for months now. I have had only some success getting over it so far.

One things that I found helps is familiarly. For example, I can't convince my brain to start any new TV series. So, I started looking for TV series that I had started but never finished. Re-watching the parts I knew tricked my brain into thinking it was something old and comforting, and then I eventually got to new stuff. On the plus side, this has lead me to finally finishing CSI. On the downside, you do sometimes realize exactly why you stopped watching shows before. I'm now stuck on season 14 of ER, with minimal motivation to move ahead. :(

Ditto with video games. I had played through Borderlands, but not the sequels. I couldn't get into any new video games until I played a bit of Borderlands 1, then jumped into Borderlands II and did a full playthrough. Mario 35 would have been my recommendation to you on this front, but sadly it's gone now. Maybe a new Mario that you missed the first time around?

Hope this helps.
 


R_J_K75

Hero
I have been fighting the exact same problem for months now. I have had only some success getting over it so far.

One things that I found helps is familiarly. For example, I can't convince my brain to start any new TV series. So, I started looking for TV series that I had started but never finished. Re-watching the parts I knew tricked my brain into thinking it was something old and comforting, and then I eventually got to new stuff. On the plus side, this has lead me to finally finishing CSI. On the downside, you do sometimes realize exactly why you stopped watching shows before. I'm now stuck on season 14 of ER, with minimal motivation to move ahead. :(

Ditto with video games. I had played through Borderlands, but not the sequels. I couldn't get into any new video games until I played a bit of Borderlands 1, then jumped into Borderlands II and did a full playthrough. Mario 35 would have been my recommendation to you on this front, but sadly it's gone now. Maybe a new Mario that you missed the first time around?

Hope this helps.
I've watched so many of Law & Order and House in the last few months that I'll find myself laying in bed like Brian Wilson until I unconsciously realize that I've watched the same episodes about 3 times. If the pandemic goes on any longer it just might break me and I'll order Time-Lifes "Sweet Sounds of the 70's" CD set at 5:30 in the morning.
 

payn

Hero
I've watched so many of Law & Order and House in the last few months that I'll find myself laying in bed like Brian Wilson until I unconsciously realize that I've watched the same episodes about 3 times. If the pandemic goes on any longer it just might break me and I'll order Time-Lifes "Sweet Sounds of the 70's" CD set at 5:30 in the morning.
Who doesn't love Chevy Van?
 



The ratio of noise to substance has increased these past years. And it's only getting greater as the massive and ongoing call for content in all mediums increases.
 

Ryujin

Hero
The ratio of noise to substance has increased these past years. And it's only getting greater as the massive and ongoing call for content in all mediums increases.
While actually producing said content, while working around the various and changing restrictions, makes it even more difficult. I was supposed to be doing on-set photography for an indie film being produced out of Seattle, this time last year, when it was cancelled due to lockdown.
 

I feel like during the pandemic I haven't been able to focus on anything long-term. I haven't finished a novel, watched a substantial television series, and haven't even touched my video games (which I used to collect).
Nothing seems good enough. If I'm not caught in the first few minutes, or if it seems too long or too confusing, I don't want to do it. If I watch anything, it's hockey in the background or little YouTube videos. If I play anything, it's a few levels of a classic Mario game. Reading is delegated to social media posts or a few pages of a D&D book.
Wandavision, Bad Batch, Mortal Kombat, Justice League, Wonder Woman 84, etc. - I dropped out of all of them within 30 minutes or less.
Has anyone else had this issue? Any tips in getting your brain back into it?
(Oddly, I can stay engaged only if I'm actively creating something. So if I'm running D&D, painting, writing a book, etc., I'm fine.)

The first thing to consider is there is no rule that says you have to consume media all the time or even ever. Maybe your brain is interested in doing other things. On the other hand if this is a product of being inside, of having your attention span impacted by youtube, facebook, etc., then my advice is stop watching youtube, stop checking social media and let your brain get used to watching things and reading things for longer periods of time (I noticed I was having trouble getting through movies and books, and it basically turned out I was watching too much youtube). Same with reading, if you are reading social media posts because that is what you want to do, then go for it. If reading social media posts is impacting your attention span and interest in reading, try avoiding reading posts a lot (I would say both on places like facebook but also limit your forum time too).

Another thing to consider: are you sure you are watching what you really want to watch? Like maybe you are watching things because you feel you ought to, because the gaming community talks about them a lot, but deep down you'd rather watch Commando. If so: watch Commando. Commando is always a good choice.
 

While I personally definitely have a measure of this going on from the pandemic (and an aimless depression predating the pandemic), I think I've also just struggled for years with the era of every scripted television series wanting to be a grand serialized narrative. I like it, in theory, but I usually end up never actually watching things, and certainly am way less likely to ever rewatch things than I was back when my favorite shows came in self-contained episodes that welcomed me to watch them in any old order.
 

Ryujin

Hero
While I personally definitely have a measure of this going on from the pandemic (and an aimless depression predating the pandemic), I think I've also just struggled for years with the era of every scripted television series wanting to be a grand serialized narrative. I like it, in theory, but I usually end up never actually watching things, and certainly am way less likely to ever rewatch things than I was back when my favorite shows came in self-contained episodes that welcomed me to watch them in any old order.
I can definitely take a certain level of commitment to watch what is effectively a 8-10 hour movie and lately I've found myself starting even just a movie, on a streaming service, then dropping it a half hour in. Maybe the level of quality I've come to expect has risen? Maybe I'm just less tolerant of crap that I used to be? Hard to say.
 

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