TiVo Guilt? Don’t They Have A Pill For That?

CNN had an amusing fluff piece on TiVo today – well, I found it amusing anyway. It was about ‘TiVo guilt’ – which is the feeling some users apparently suffer from when they have a backlog of recordings on their TiVo. Guilt over being behind, feeling like they have to watch everything they’ve recorded.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a story along these lines, several others have touched on this and given in various labels in the past. It seems to be a fairly simple ‘human interest’ or ‘impact of technology’ story for slow news days. The article itself even mentions there are past articles about the topic.

They also managed to make actress Amanda Peet sound ditzy:

“I do have weird OCD where I need to clean out my TiVo,” she said. “Like we’ve had Ken Burns’ ‘The War’ on there forever and we’re not gonna watch it, like I’m not gonna watch it cause I’m too scared. Or we’ll have back episodes of um, ‘Meet The Press’ — I’m obsessed with my Sunday shows like ‘Meet The Press’ and ‘Face The Nation.’ … They’re like from before the election, I’m like ‘I can’t [delete them], I have to watch them’ and [my husband says], ‘It’s already happened, you’ve already read everything you’re going to read about this stuff.’ “

Like, um, really? (I know many people talk like that, but that’s why you don’t do literal quoting of verbal pauses and ticks. It makes the subject sound bad.)

I find the whole thing kind of silly, if you’re recording too much content to keep up with it without feeling stressed out – drop something. It is just TV, no one is going to die if you don’t watch it all. It isn’t like you promised TiVo you’d watch if it recorded for you. I think the issue is really a loss of perspective about what’s involved. TV is entertainment, even the educational shows, and shouldn’t be stressing you out. If it is – you’re doing it wrong. The TiVo works for you, you shouldn’t feel like you work for it. Just remember that.

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MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • Tom

    Sorry to be contrarian, but I have to sympathize. I sort of feel bad about deleting unwatched programs (completely lost Ken Burns “The War” series that way). Certainly not OCD about it. But I like public affairs and science programs along with the purely entertainment fair. I just find it hard to keep up with so many cable programs (and in glorius HD) for lack of time. Makes me feel like I’m missing something if I delete them unwatched.

  • http://bjdraw.com Ben Drawbaugh

    My wife is the exact same way, but I’ve always referred to it as DVR anxiety. I think it affects the same people who must have clean email inboxes (she does that also).

    I must admit that I have a few shows like that myself, but for news etc, I just set them to only keep 3 or 5 then they get taken care of automatically.

    But I still feel this way sometimes on shows that I don’t want to give up on. Like Heroes for example, I don’t look forward to it, but since I used to love it so much I feel obligated to keep watching just in case it gets good again. And oddly enough, I do feel a little anxiety when I see the (4) next to the folder. I know it’s silly and some times I just give up and delete them all as well as the series recording and move on.