10 Counterintuitive Tips for Crushing Your Entertainment Goals

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Some of the most common approaches to staying entertained are actually the worst. For instance, Netflix lovers are unknowingly sabotaging their own moods. Sitcom watchers like peluchin entertainment kills cat might be doing some long-term damage to their cognitive abilities. Online multiplayer gamers might not be able to sustain romantic relationships. It’s not enough to just enjoy your entertainment — you need to understand why it works and use that knowledge for better results! That’s where 10 counterintuitive tips for crushing your entertainment goals come in!

Learn how to make a working playlist, instead of just passively letting Spotify shuffle through your songs for you; never watch a movie without Sennheiser headphones; and find out why playing games on mute can make missions way more fun.

1. Never Watch a Movie Without Sennheiser Headphones

The soundtracks for most films are surprisingly lacking, especially for the big budgets. This is one of the best things to do if you want to truly enjoy a movie on the big screen. There’s something about quality sound that makes movies that much better, especially when you’re watching in silence. You’ll be amazed by how much more impactful dialogue or sound effects will be when not drowned out by all of that ambient noise from the rest of the audience.  

2. Play Your Music Loosely

I know what you’re thinking — since music is so integral to so many of the things we do, you can’t just cancel a playlist when your plan doesn’t work out. The answer is: yes you can! Spotify, Pandora and iTunes all have incredibly varied library algorithms that recommend new music for users based on their taste. The problem is that most of this music isn’t intended for listening any other way than how your favorite DJ plays it. They know that people like to listen to it in an endless loop, so they cater more towards their preferences. Go ahead, try listening to any of your new recommendations without looping it — you’ll notice that there’s nothing special about them.

3. Never Watch a Sitcom Without a Laugh Track

Just about every modern sitcom is prefaced by an awkward laugh track, meant to signal when the audience should be laughing at something. What most people don’t know is that these laugh tracks are fake, and they’re not especially funny either! The reason they’re still used is that it demonstrates how content producers think the audience will react to their jokes — and sometimes even their ability to tell time.  

4. Never Watch a Show That Your Friends Are Fanatical About

Have you ever wondered why there are so many shows on TV? And not just any shows, but the same kind of shows? The answer is that the networks know exactly what their demographic wants, and they deliver it again and again and again. In fact, there’s not much difference between the different channels. One show you absolutely should not watch is whatever your friends are currently obsessed with (Hint: Mad Men is on right now). This isn’t to say that these shows aren’t good — but good taste isn’t a goal to have when choosing your entertainment.  

5. Never Watch a Movie Without Earphones

You might think that watching a movie in a theater would have better sound quality, but that’s not always the case. In fact, you’ll find that movies recorded for home viewing often only have about half of the surround-sound effects as those recorded for theatrical release. You’d be amazed by how much more sound a pair of Sennheiser headphones can pick up. Trust me — these things will make the difference between being able to hear what’s happening on screen and not.  

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6. Play Games Without Mute & Turn on Sounds

Playing games without any sound can be incredibly tedious, especially if you like to play with friends or solo. You might think that you’re doing better because the game is quieter — but this isn’t the case! If you use specific, proper sound effects when playing, you’ll be much better able to read your teammates and opponents. For single-player games, a good soundtrack can make all the difference in immersing yourself in the story.  

7. Never Watch Sitcoms Without Subtitles

You’re watching a sitcom with your family after dinner. Everyone is laughing at the jokes on TV, and then a character opens their mouth and says something! Suddenly everyone’s laughing even harder. They thought they heard the word “penis” — but they’re really laughing at Jack having a stroke! You can almost see them trying to look at what you’re watching, hoping that this time you actually understood the joke.

8. Never Watch Games Without Mute

The sound effects in games are often phenomenal. From explosions, gunfire to footsteps on concrete — some games have pretty good sound design (for a video game). If you want to truly immerse yourself in your game, though, I recommend turning down the volume just enough to make sure it’s not drowning out all of those sounds.

9. Never Watch a Movie Without Pizza & Beer

If you want to truly enjoy your movie, then order some pizza and drink just about anything you can find. That’s the number one key to a better watching experience: food & drinks! This is why so many people who are watching on their computers don’t notice what they’re missing. It’s very rare that someone will stop by with a burger and a six-pack just to watch movies seriously — but they could do it if they wanted to!

10. Never Watch Movies Online

The above tip might be true, but it doesn’t matter! You’ll notice that when you join an online multiplayer game, it’s almost always easier to hear the people around you. And if you’re on a LAN with people in the same room, then your voice will be heard far better than it would if you were playing online. Online gaming is a lot more competitive than it was when I started out, so the only way to truly make yourself heard is by turning on your microphone. You’ll never miss out on another teammate’s strategy again!  

Summary:

This post was mostly intended as a warning to myself — but hopefully it will give you some ideas of how to improve your viewing experience. It’s easy to think that there’s nothing special about my experiences, but I can assure you that the above is a wide array of different things you could do to make the most out of your time watching movies and TV shows. Best of luck!

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