The real life replay gap.

I’m a bit of a TV addict. I haven’t formally started any of the 12 steps. The steps that will ultimately be required for me to break free of the dark hole and death spiral that TV (and Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.) inevitably become. To make matters worse, I’ve developed an unhealthy relationship with my DVR which records all of my favorite shows from The Big Bang Theory to all the NCIS’s to far too many more. And I never watch live TV. I record everything and I love, love, love the fact that I can skip through commercials.

Another feature that I just can’t seem to do without is that replay button. You know the one that skips back about 6 seconds to see what just happened. I suspect that it was first developed for sports so you can have your very own instant replay. However, I’ll be watching one of my coveted shows and space out for a second thinking about work or something and realize that I missed what Sheldon just said to Leonard that got a big laugh on Big Bang Theory. Not a problem, just hit the ‘replay’ button and I get to hear what I just missed.

I’ve grown somewhat dependent on that replay button. I’m either making something in the kitchen and miss a critical line in a scene or I’m multi-tasking in some other way (probably checking updates on Facebook) and just keep tapping the replay button to see what I missed.

The other day, I was in my car listening to NPR on the radio when I had to quickly swerve away from another car to prevent dying in a steely inferno when a Lexus cut me off. Once all was safe on the road again, I realized that I missed what was said on the radio and I found myself reaching for the non-existent replay button on the radio. I was sad. Happy I was alive and not in a fiery wreck. Sad, that I could’t replay the news report.

Or, another time, in real life, walking down the street, I thought I saw something that had gone by and wanted to hit the replay button to see what I missed, but there wasn’t one.

I think this a sign that I’ve grown over-dependent on technology. I’m finding that I’m neglecting the present moment because I’ve grown accustomed to hitting the replay button.

There is no replay button in life. Once the experience has happened, it’s gone. A reminder to myself to be present and mindful in my activities throughout the day.

Has this happened to you? Tell me your story in the comments.


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About Brian Greenberg

Brian Greenberg is a senior strategy consultant specializing in whole systems design and leveraging technologies to advance the goals of organizations in the public, private, academic and not-for-profit sectors. An information systems and technology leader, Brian has 20 years experience in information systems design, architecture and business operations.  Brian holds a B.S. in Philosophy & Applied Computer Science and a M.A. in Whole Systems Design – Systems Theory. As a frequent industry speaker, Mr. Greenberg addresses how organizations can better align legal and business requirements with IT and has presented several papers and participated at conferences. Brian also sits on the Board of Directors of EcoMyths Alliance, a consortium of environmental education partners.