I will admit, however, that I looked up the current Billboard top 40 hits just now and realized that I had heard, or at least realized I was hearing at time, exactly zero of them. That's because I only listen to Classic Rock. Sure, snicker away at the old guy. Let's fast forward to the year 2054. I'll be a randomly dispersed collection of organic molecules and a few trace metals and you'll be listening to exactly the same songs you are right now. That's because our musical tastes get more or less frozen around 18-24 years of age. So, you are experiencing a preview of your own senescence every time you crank up the iPod: an introduction to old age, as it were. Get used to it. It really only goes downhill from here.
The genesis of this post was a piece on the Wired site. (I read Wired almost every day. I was even the subject of a Wired feature once. Can you say that, Mr./Ms. Cooler-than-thou? I thought not. Now sit down and shut up.) It was a review of fifteen Netflix movies/TV series available for Thanksgiving viewing. It started out with four movies I had seen and enjoyed, then a movie I had heard of but not seen, followed by ten cinematic offerings I never even knew existed. That's sobering, even for a guy who admits he's old.
Now, part of this is because I made a conscious decision years ago to eschew television altogether. It was taking up too much of the time I wanted to be devoting to making things and writing. While you were watching whatever it is you glued your eyeballs to in the late nineties and early aughts, I was writing my first novel and a monthly column, as well as building (for the most part single-handedly) a Medieval Spanish farmhouse, Polish chapel, Celtic roundhouse, solar shower house, and one quarter scale four-towered Norman keep (from native stones and timber) on my property in the Texas Hill Country. I'm not saying my use of time was better than yours, but it was more than likely different.
The downside to this (from your point of view, anyway) is that I missed a lot of good movies and television. The problem with those, no matter how well-made they are, is that they are someone else's (usually fictitious) life. When you are staring at a screen you are a passive receptacle for another person's adventures. You yourself are doing nothing at all, except perhaps a bit of drooling and growing fatter from eating junk snacks. That's fine for the occasional escape, but four to six hours a day? Ouch, babe.
I know I sound like a recovering alcoholic lecturing about the evils of the devil's drink, but really, if you can just peel yourself away from the flat screen or PS4 for a while you might discover that HD exists in the real world, too. In fact, reality has astonishing clarity, surround sound that far exceeds 5-1 or whatever the standard for multimedia audio is these days, and a frame rate to die for. You don't need a Netflix or Spotify subscription to stream it, either. Bonus!