Stopping and Quitting

Whenever I browse on YouTube, I’ve noticed myself adding many videos on my “Watch Later” playlist. However, there are certain videos here and there that I can never seem to watch (even on that playlist) because I don’t feel like watching them at the moment (like a video about discipline when I’m procrastinating), or I plan to watch it in the FAR future (like this video).

I’m guessing it’s like having certain songs in a playlist that you often skip but never have the motivation to remove manually. I’m not into new music anymore, but I’m guessing something like this still happens?

The longer these videos are in my Watch Later playlist, I tend to get annoyed because I just wanted to see what I wanted to see. Less scrolling = happiness. Because I don’t want to be annoyed, I play them in bulk as background music while I work. Fortunately, the types of content I put on the backburner do not need to be actively watched, except architecture stuff (like NTS). I have to say that playing it at 2x speed works wonders!

But there’s this feeling that keeps bugging me. Some stuff in this YouTube marathon does leave me entertained, but a few stick out as boring and irrelevant to me. I would catch a particular video that has already made its point 2 minutes in and just kept repeating the same thing for six more minutes. Even if I do realize this, I still can’t bring myself to stop playing them in the background. Other times, even if I already know that a video has “quenched” my thirst for entertainment, I can’t click away. Why is this? 

After some deliberation, I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons:

1. I’m honoring what my past self wanted.

2. I like “properly” clearing out the Watch Later playlist.

The first one sounds so cringeworthy to me, so let me address that first. It just means that if past me wanted to watch something, it must mean that future me would (and therefore SHOULD) enjoy it. If I’m not enjoying it now, there must be some value to finishing the video until the end that the current me can’t see. “I put it on Watch Later, so there’s a reason for it.” Flawed thinking, right?

“Properly” clearing out the Watch Later playlist means that I have to watch everything I put there. Merely taking out videos just because I don’t have time for them or they don’t seem interesting anymore is cheating. “If it’s on Watch Later, then I should watch it later.” Again, it’s a dumb way to think about things, but I somehow developed them without noticing.

Things like these do creep up from time to time in our lives. We get constantly annoyed about something that doesn’t really make sense. Sometimes, we just need to stop and think about why we feel that way. 

Sure, some nuisances just can’t be removed, but there should be ways to minimize their negative effects on you.

So what did I do? After realizing that I have been thinking about this whole Watch Later thing like a madman, it was easy for me to let go of the superficial attachment that I had for these less-interesting videos. If I notice myself thinking that the video I’m watching (or listening to, for that matter) doesn’t seem to have the value I expect, then I close it. Sure, I might have missed out on something great later at the end, but I can’t watch everything, especially with this limited attention span.

For the videos that I only plan to watch in the far future, I made another playlist for those videos and stashed them up there. It’s a modern problem with a modern solution already existing.

I’m not sure why I’m talking about this for this long. I didn’t intend to bring this idea to more relatable life circumstances, but maybe you need to stop and quit on something. Not necessarily because you’re no longer entertained, but perhaps they no longer serve a purpose for you (or never served a purpose in the first place).

See you next week!

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