I need opinions about a strange hobby my friend has.

@anawar (2406)
United States
July 23, 2008 5:04pm CST
There's no harm in it, but there's no sense to it either! My friend sits all day in his room with two television sets on. He's taping TV shows and movies on VHS. He doesn't ever watch what he's taping, he only pays attention long enough to decide if it's worth saving. He uses timers on the tv sets if he's not home, or sleeping. He has probably fifty large storage tubs filled with these VHS tapes he's collected over the last two years. He knows he'll never watch them, and doesn't think anyone else will either. He's so frustrated with this hobby, but he keeps recording. I tell him not to worry about it. Maybe his brain needs that stimulation. He has notebooks hand-written full of movies he's taped. Okay, that's the truth. I never told anyone else. I'm not trying to "cure" him, I'm just wondering what mylotters think? I know it's another long drawn out weird question, but humour me, okay? Are there any mylotters out there with a similar habit?
12 people like this
36 responses
@tessah (6650)
• United States
24 Jul 08
back before dvd`s.. id tape movies offa the premium cable channels. they were movies i liked and wanted to keep and watch again and really didnt wanna pay the 24 bucks to buy it. at one point in time i had a video library of well over 600 movies, so in order to find the movie i wanted without pouring through them all every time.. i cateloged them all in a notebook, and numbered each tape to coincide with same number in said book so id know which tape had which movies on them (you could put 3 sometimes 4 movies per tape). when id wanna watch a movie.. id open the book, find the one i wanted, and then go the shelves and find that numbered tape. collecting movies isnt really all that odd.. lots of people do it.
3 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
tessah - you are the only person so far who has a similar habit and finds nothing wrong with it. He has all of his movies in catagories as well. He probably has more than 600 movies. I wish I could say. "Hey, I asked about your taping habit on mylot and tessah said she taped movies as well. Now, you know you're not alone in this world." Except, I don't think he will appreciate the fact that I plastered his hobby all over mylot. I'll think of a way to tell him though. mylot is so diverse, its no wonder there's always someone who understands another. Thanks.
3 people like this
@tessah (6650)
• United States
24 Jul 08
hehe i love movies.. always have. its the same with my music collection. i havent bothered to get a dvd recorder, because dvd`s really are pretty cheap for the most part, so instead of recording vhs tapes.. i just buy the discs, and am slowly replacing my most loved films that are on tape with their dvd counterpart. havent bothered to count and catelog those as there is only one movie per disc so theyre easier to find, but if i were to venture a guess, id say ive got about 150 dvds. why rent when you can own it and watch it whenever ya like? and yer friend isnt just alone with me in it.. ive got alot of friends who do the same thing, and we trade off movies we wanna watch if the other doesnt have it
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I collect a few DVDs, favourite ones I watch over and over again. That's a good idea to trade with friends. It's crazy how much DVDs cost, so I only buy them when I have extra money. I like to buy seasons of old TV shows I liked. I have all four seasons of Farscape and the final movie. I have one season of LeFemme Nikita, but I can't buy anymore right now. My friend used to record music as well and he has some very unusual tunes that I'm happy he preserved. Now, I just have to get him over to digital. That will never happen.
2 people like this
@getnbuy (1315)
• United States
23 Jul 08
it sounds to me like he is obsessive /compulsive. There is medication for that. Get him some help. He is wasting a lot of his tme.
3 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
23 Jul 08
getnbuy - I know it sounds like OCD, but it's not something he needs medicine for. He's not miserable, and he doesn't see it as a waste of time. He's not hurting anything. I feel compassion for him, but I'm not trying to "fix" him. He's quirky.
4 people like this
• United States
24 Jul 08
I can speak for myself but alot of people loved my charasmatic Bipolar self and then it just progressively got worse until I did finally admit I needed medication and I never thought of it as a "fix" but something I would need to live a fairly productive life--I had racing thoughts where I could not even keep up with one thing to the next and it made it hard to get anything done! I am so thankful I did it even though I had so many bad experiences with anti-depressants which, folks, is a common misdiagnoses for those like us and I was close to giving up on meds completely, It took it getting pretty bad, think Brittany Spears bad to get to the meds. I have slight OCD where I always have to have things in a certain order and cannot pass a chair that needs to be pushed in and not push it, things like that (hey, right in the ranks with Robert Deniro, yes!)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I meant to say it sounds like hoarding to me and I have a very close friend who does this too except with food but its like its as normal as ever to her and she just lives like that unfortunately with her children. She used to be very compulsive about writing things down (a habit I seemed to pick up) in notebook after notebook but they were just random notes or numbers that had no order. This has only gotten worse and I am so thankful this has never went exposed as she would certainly lost her kids, I have cleaned her house top to bottom several times and it never works. She comes from a conservative background and her husband is a former pastor and would not even allow medication for her which is a same because I admire her so much because I see her gifts and she doesnt even know it.
@ShepherdSpy (8565)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
23 Jul 08
Fifty tubs of VHS Cassettes in his place that he's recorded,and he hasn't watched ANY of them? WHERE does he sleep?! is there room for him to get into the room? It doesn't sound like much of a hobby from here,more like OCD..does He go out socialising with You or other friends at all? Does He have many visitors in his place? Hasn't he heard of DVD? TIVO? Okay,I'm here at the computer a few hours each day,I don't watch much TV,but I go out,and at least I'm interacting with others,friends and Family,etc..Does He have a Computer? Doesn't sound like he has an internet habit!
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
23 Jul 08
You mention He's retired? From doing what?
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
You're funny. No, he doesn't watch them, only while he records them. He has an extra bedroom where he stores all the tapes. Yes, we all agree OCD in some form. Maybe I should have mentioned that from the beginning. It's so funny, because I ask him, "don't you know no one watches VHS anymore?" "Yup" he says, "I know." I think he lost his way when he retired. He drove truck for twenty-eight years, but was forced to leave because his Union went on strike. Two more years would have given him "thirty and out." The shock of losing his job stunned him. Yes, he gets out with friends, mostly me and he doesn't stay stuck at home 24/7 with no break at all. Maybe he's one of those quirky people who enjoys something no one else understands. I try to get him interested in the internet, but no, likes to listen to public radio for unbiased news and he's very intelligent and well informed.
3 people like this
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
24 Jul 08
Does He ever talk about why He does this? Everybody gets OCD moments..You're At the door on the way out,and go back into the house to check you didn't leave a tap running,forget your house keys,check the back door's locked,if the gas is on,check your pockets or bag for your money,car keys,etc..I haven't studied OCD,but I'm interested in how the "block" occurs that they can't seem to get past and get on with their life..it's like a broken record..Did He have a habit of recording programmes on TV to watch when He got back from a Delivery run? Was He a long distance trucker?
2 people like this
• Philippines
23 Jul 08
good day.. did you ask him why he's doing it? Maybe it's not the movies he's recording what he's really after but the act of recording that's what giving him the high. Ask him and then maybe we could help when we know what's the reason behind his recording.
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Good suggestion - I think that's where the answer is. The level of recording he does requires a lot of thinking and planning. Since he retired, I think he misses that daily high we get from the outside world, His hobby keeps his mind sharp and his brain busy. I expressed my thoughts when he asked me, or I asked him, and I think he agrees with me. So, your idea is a valid one. Do you think my theory makes sense? Thanks for not jumping down "his" neck as if something is wrong with him. I understand that it sounds really weird to some people, but other people, such as yourself, have a deeper intuitive mind, and I thank you for that. The other thing that crossed my mind is, I wonder if someone can think of a use for all these tapes? Maybe he can donate them to a retirement home of something?
4 people like this
@mommyboo (13262)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Donating the tapes or making them available to people who may be able to get some use out of them would be a wonderful idea! Retirement homes or even shelters for people who are homeless or have been abandoned and/or abused maybe. They need some entertainment too, and movies and tv are a pretty 'safe' form of entertainment. It occurred to me too after reading that your friend is retired that he might be trying to add a little bit of mental/visual stimulation back into his life. Retirement is not a bed of roses for everybody, while some people gloriously jump right into it, others drag their feet as much as possible! It can be a scary prospect for somebody who has worked constantly for 50 years or longer to suddenly be without that daily routine, that expectation from other people, being counted on, being 'useful', providing a service to others as well as earning a paycheck to enjoy.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
mommyboo - Thank you. Your comments are astute and I agree with you. I came to the same conclusion, but I kept wondering what he would do with all of them? Maybe he has a secret plan, but I like your idea.
1 person likes this
@reckon21 (3488)
• Philippines
23 Jul 08
Really...hehehe. That's very odd. Your friend is ok? Just asking no offense meant. What's the use of all the recordings if he doesn't even watch a single one of it. Waste of time and electric bill and not to mention the money he used on purchasing the equipments.
@anawar (2406)
• United States
23 Jul 08
I know, I know. It seems so obvious that it doesn't make sense. But he keeps doing it and it's not a waste of time for him. I was hoping someone here had a different "off the wall" theory.
3 people like this
@mommyboo (13262)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Aha... anwar, does your friend 'process' things differently, ie do you think it might be a behavioral or social type of condition? This isn't to say there's anything technically wrong with him, just that he might need the stimulation that this odd habit gives him and he can't seem to get the same thing in a normal manner like other people do. Just a thought.
• United States
24 Jul 08
It could be creating a sense of order and security for him since its so regular in his life this hobby, you know.
@littleowl (7157)
24 Jul 08
Hi anawar fortunatley I don't know of anyone like that...you are right though his brain needs some other sort of stimulation your littleowl
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Hi littleowl. Thanks for stopping by. Even though you don't know anyone like him, you still care enough to let me know you're thinking about my questions. It's always nice when someone agrees with me too! No, that's not fair. I do like to hear what everyone thinks.
2 people like this
@littleowl (7157)
24 Jul 08
Hi anawar I have been having a few probs if I haven't got round to answering your discussions but will do soon-your friend littleowl
1 person likes this
@o2bnocn (2897)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Well I think it is a little odd at the most. Like you said there is no harm in it. I do think that he is probably wasting a lot of time. There is absolutely no reason why he is doing it? If he feels like he needs help maybe you should suggest that he can go to a counselor. I am not saying he needs it I am just saying there is no harm in going and seeing if he gets any use out of it. It does sound a little like OCD. Again I am not saying he has it. When I went to a counselor, something that I told her made her think there was a slight chance I had it. We talked about it and she asked me some questions about it and we figured out that I don't have it. When we were talking about it though, she said that there are different levels. Not everyone that has it has it that extreme. Just a thought. Is he worried about something, like perhaps his cable be turned off and he is recording shows and movies so he will have something to watch if that happens? I hope this helped a little.
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Well, good thoughts all. He does see a counselor and yes, part of it is a degree of OCD. But OCD is only a problem if it affects your life in a negative manner. I thought you had it there for a minute. I think maybe he records, not because he is afraid not to have cable, but because no one else is taking care to see these shows are recorded. He's okay when he's visiting someone. He spends some months with different family members and he doesn't tape while he's away. But as soon as he's home. He's retired, maybe it passes the time for him. thanks for your thoughts. I never really thought about helping him overcome this, I know he won't stop. I'm trying to figure out how his brain works. But, that's me. Always thinking.
3 people like this
@o2bnocn (2897)
• United States
23 Jul 08
no problem
1 person likes this
@kun2349 (23477)
• Singapore
24 Jul 08
Maybe he has got too much free time on his hand and he doesn't know what to do with all the free time he has.. And so maybe that's the only way for him to pass time much more faster, as time flies when we are doing something.. As for me, taping even when he's out, it has become a habit for him and he cant stop now.. If u really wanna know, try to stop his recording when he's out 1 day, and see his reaction to it..
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
It does take up his free time. After he retired from his job he found something to replace the mental stimulation he needs. Good thinking. anawar out.
2 people like this
@Nana530 (286)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Actually I have two friends who do this and they both have had to build shelves to store their tapes. For the life of my I don't understand what they get out of this but it's just some sort of hobby they have. It's OK by me, just so I don't have to go to their house and dust. lol
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Nana-hi. Your comments add to the collective of the mylotters who don't find his habit weird. Some part of me was worried and now I'm more relaxed. Thanks for your support! You really helped me.
1 person likes this
@whittby (3073)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I like the comment above that recording the movies is his "job" now. Maybe if he had some other purpose, he wouldn't record so much. You did say when he's away he doesn't record so it seems that he can NOT do it and be okay. Everyone says OCD and I don't know enough about it that OCD could affect a person this selectively. I thought OCD was with you all the time. You are probably being the biggest help by being his friend. We'd like to give advice and change someone and maybe you can get him to change, who knows.
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Hi whittby. The idea that recorording is his "job" now" makes sense. He wants to continue taping, so whenever he asks me about it, I tell him that part of his brain requires the acute attention and concentration needed. You're right about the OCD as well. Sometimes he is gone for 6 months at a time and never gives a thought to taping. With comments like yours and others, his hobby is making more sense to me. Thanks for helping.
1 person likes this
@Amberina (1542)
• United States
24 Jul 08
You said he is retired and a very smart person, I think he records all those movies and stuff because he thinks it's his "job". It's something he can do to keep busy. I don't think it's wrong or odd, when he wants to stop maybe he could do some volunteering somewhere. My step dad used to tape movies an stuff he had two vcr's and two tv's in his room and he would tape all kinds of stuff for other people and himself. He's passed away now and every once in awhile I will run into a VHS that he has taped for me and I think of him, I treasure every one of them because he taped them thinking of me. Good luck to your friend and you, Amberina.
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Amberina - You got it! I agree with you and I thank you for telling me his hobby is not wrong or odd. You helped me and my friend. Your step dad left a legacy for you. How loving and thoughtful.
1 person likes this
@boerema (60)
24 Jul 08
Just reading your friends scenario makes it sound like he has some kind of case of obsessive compulsive disorder. It seems like he has a problem where he feels like hes going to miss something on TV and needs to tape it just incase something important happens. The fact he is frusterated with his hobby but still continues it seems like he feels kind of perpetually trapped to continue recording. Then again he might make it big one day selling antique VHS tapes of old television shows haha.
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I like your last comment the best and I'll try to find a way to work it into a conversation with my friend. I know you indicated it as funny, but I think it's a likely idea. Not the big money part. Besides, except for a few mylotters, everyone says OCD. It's in almost every post!
2 people like this
@dragon54u (28448)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I don't do that, but you should advise him to start using cd rom media as soon there won't be any VCRs to watch the stuff on. I assume he's taping them for someone's future use..does he think there will be a global disaster soon, or a total breakdown of society? Sometimes those people do things like that.
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Oh, the wise dragon speaks again. I told him about VCRs being obsolete. I think if he had more tech savvy, or he started recording with DVD, he would be using DVD now. He asks me about it recording with digital, but he figures since he started with VHS, he'll keep on going with it. He does feel a slight responsibility to record movies people may never get to see. Maybe he thinks there will be a need for them, but he doesn't want to talk about it because he feels strange. Could be, could be. Thanks for not mentioning OCD. I'm getting tired of telling everyone "I know, I know."
3 people like this
@sisterjinx (1136)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Actually hun this sounds like a form of OCD to me. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) I mean he knows it doesn't make sense to do it but he can't make himself stop. It's a physical need. That is a symptom of OCD and if unchecked this disorder may get worse as he gets older. Might suggest that he speaks to someone about it.
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Hi sister. I know it's likely to be OCD and so does he. But there are degrees to this disorder and since it doesn't affect anyone in a negative manner, I'm not worried. He sees a therapist on a regular basis, so it's not a problem. Thanks for your compassion. I know this friend very well, so maybe his habit doesn't seem as weird to me compared to what people who don't know him think. Now, I'm asking, since he's aware he has a strange habit, but wants to continue, can anyone think of something to do with all the tapes he is making? Some of the movies he records are unusual or old and maybe somehow, somewhere, someone will have a need or use for all those recordings. Maybe that's the better question, now that mylotters have helped me think this through. Thanks!
3 people like this
• United States
23 Jul 08
I think it would be ok if someone else was watching the videos or if at least he was, but sense that's not the case, it does seem kind of strange. There doesn't seem to be any reason for him to do this, and like you said, he's frustrated with this hobby, so he probably should just quit now and be happy with what he's already recorded. :)
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
23 Jul 08
That makes perfect sense to me and you, but not to him. He doesn't know I'm asking anyone what they think. It fascinates me. Even though he gets frustrated, I know I get frustrated on mylot sometimes, like when I make a bunch of typo's, but that doesn't mean I don't like it. Oh well. thanks for the sensible input.
2 people like this
• India
24 Jul 08
Interesting!
2 people like this
@mommyboo (13262)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Some sort of OCD? This doesn't seem to be mild either, it seems to have taken over his life lol. You say he's frustrated with his behavior, probably because he cannot control/end it. Does he want to control or end this? Maybe a way to suggest he get some help is come up with a list of things he would prefer to be doing instead of sitting there recording multiple things he will never watch. This is a time-intensive thing to do, and hundreds of VHS tapes not to mention the storage tubs could be getting expensive as well. As well as I can gather, I would only consider myself mildly OCD about a couple of things, and they are neither expensive nor very time consuming, in fact part of the obsessive-compulsion for me is that I hate doing these things so they must be done asap in the shortest amount of time possible so I don't have to think about them when I return home.... dishes, getting kitchen cleaned up, and laundry. Some people spend a LOT of time doing those things and they do them slowly, or throughout the day, or even ALL WEEK, never completing it all. I prefer to go tackle those things and try to get them done in a couple minutes.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
mommyboo - Everything makes sense. I don't think he wants to stop. It is his hobby and there really isn't anything interesting in our area to get involved in. Trust me, I know. Maybe I misrepresented him. It's what he does all day, but of course he has other places to go and things to dol It's kind of like mylot, we get addicted. So, maybe his hobby doesn't make sense and never will. I'm learning to let it go. I posed a question about him, but I'm benefiting from everyone's ideas. He's a good guy who will help me out or anyone else who needs help. I feel like I'm defending him now and it's not necessary.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13262)
• United States
24 Jul 08
PS: see my other comments sprinkled throughout this thread. I posted this before I had read the rest, but I came up with some other ideas aside from the ocd lol.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I know you posted other commments, that's why I was surprised to see you mention this. It's all fine. I always appreciate your participation
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Does he have a reason for doing this? I'm thinking it could simply be OCD, Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder. I have a weird habit of collecting unusual brass objects, usually from second-hand stores, flea markets or yard sales. BUT, I do have a reason. I clean them up and am putting them on my new online store for resale. Hey, it's not all crazy! I found a brass "candle wick cutter" which was no longer manufactured after 1837. I bought it for 25 cents and it's worth over $400.00!!! I also found an antique brass Egyptian vase. So, my weirdness has a plus side; at least THIS weirdness does. LOL
@mentalward (14716)
• United States
24 Jul 08
Thank you for the kind words. I just had to add that you should warn your friend that he could get arrested if he tries to sell copyrighted materials without permission! I'd hate to see that happen to your friend!
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I don't know if movies or TV show are copywrited. Good point. Thanks.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
mental. I don't think what you're doing is weird at all. Especially considering the $400 sale on ebay! A few people have sugested he might sell his tapes at some point, and that would add to a plus side, the same as yours. Always a pleasure to see you and read your comments. Thanks.
1 person likes this
• India
24 Jul 08
Well, you never know. Stuff like this sells for millions after sometime. It's obsessive and completely ridiculous that he does that even though he doesn't like it, but its something that can help him in the long run. bourne
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
His hobby is sort of a love/hate combination. Maybe I didn't make that clear from the beginning. A few other mylotters think the same as you. Maybe someday he can sell them. Thanks for adding your comments. It's good to have the same idea mentioned in so many posts. The more people talk about it, the better. It reinforces the positive energy instead of focusing on the negative. I do understand the mylotters who think it's weird. I don't want to step on anyone's toes. Every opinion is of value to me. bourne, warm regards.
1 person likes this
• India
24 Jul 08
It helps to be positive about somethings, even though they seem bad. My parents tell me that watching movies is bad, but I do not see any bad in that. And it was good to know that I share my thoughts with many people here. bourne
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I don't see how watching movies is bad. I don't know what your parents mean by that. It is satisfying to feel the energy of mylotters.
1 person likes this
@lixiaos77 (1023)
• Shijiazhuang, China
24 Jul 08
Why not help him develop some outdoor hobbies, such as fishing. Siting in front of the TV for a long time does hurt his eyes somewhat. And he realy need do something interesting to fill his time. My father often goes fishing after retiring from his work, and he keep a good health and high spirit.
1 person likes this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
He walks in the woods for at least one hour every day. Nature refreshes everyone and that's a good idea for everyone to hear when they read your comment. I'm sorry if I gave the impression that my friend never leaves his room.
1 person likes this