I had the most random thought run through my mind tonight and I’m still not really sure what prompted it. It might have been on my walk to the mailbox and something triggered the memory of “back in the day” when I would make the trip to the mailbox for the Netflix DVDs that would arrive as part of my subscription. This, in turn, caused me to think about how the dependence on physical media (either DVDs delivered in the mail by Netflix or picked up from a local Redbox) has been made obsolete by the availability of streaming services.

What’s strange is that I found myself yearning for the ritual of visiting my neighborhood video store, leisurely wandering through the aisles, and selecting a movie for the night. It’s a sentiment that contradicts my overarching preference for the convenience and accessibility offered by streaming services. However, in all honesty, my quest for something to stream often entails scrolling through an overwhelming array of options that fail to capture my interest. More often than not, I end up settling for a familiar movie I’ve seen before or reluctantly paying for a rental that isn’t covered by my subscription. And, if I’m honest, there’s something about the ritual involved with physically visiting a video store and tangibly engaging with DVD cases.

I’m willing to acknowledge that this desire to ritual is probably most closely associated with something I’ve mentioned before. As someone who works (and works out) at home, I think I’m essentially craving excuses and opportunities to leave my home and engage in community and interact with flesh and blood outside of my own home.