Growing up, one of my favorite activities was renting movies. I loved walking into the video store and being able to touch the boxes. I loved the excitement that built as I looked for that perfect movie and the exhilaration I experienced from the anticipation of watching my selection.
There was something real and organic about the whole experience. My selections weren’t overly researched, trailers weren’t watched in advance, and review scores weren’t considered. It was just me, alone, using my reason to pick the best choice for myself.
I made good choices the majority of the time. There were always those few bad movies with great box art or a fantastic cast that were just deceiving, but rarely did I ever turn a movie off. After all, I had paid for this experience, good or bad.
I also remember feeling excited when I’d go to pick up photos. The pictures had been taken days ago and I had no idea how they turned out. I had no control on changing the photos or taking additional pictures. What was done was done and I had to accept the results. Similar to renting a movie, I almost always found the good in whatever I ended up with.
I don’t feel this level of excitement or anticipation anymore. I’m not sure if the algorithms have ruined it for me or if I have way too many options just a click away, but I miss it.