There are many benefits to sharing various online accounts with others. Why have everyone pay his or her own subscription fee, when you can all just split one account and, in the case of Netflix, have separate profiles?
It’s a great plan for those of us who don’t have much left over after making rent, car and credit card payments. And, who needs their own Amazon Prime account when their parents already have one and you already know the password? Seems like a bit of a waste to pay that extra annual fee just to watch the occasional old TV show or buy a heavily discounted Crock Pot once every few years.
But there are also disadvantages, especially on Amazon Prime, where everyone shares the same profile. The biggest one? You can see what everyone else associated with the account has bought or watched.
You could spoil Christmas if you’re not careful (I was). You can accidentally pay for one of your own purchases with someone else’s credit card or ship it to someone else’s house (I was lucky).
Others can see what your latest guilty TV pleasure is (I got made fun of).
Apparently, it’s not considered cool to spend the better part of a day off watching cartoons. Fortunately, I have three young nieces in California who also have access to my parents’ Amazon Prime account, so watching SpongeBob for hours on end doesn’t seem strange.
But several hours of Bob Ross? That’s a hard one to explain. That’s one I had to own up to. But, you know what? There’s a lot to be learned from “The Joy of Painting” — in fact, there are several Bob Ross-isms that I have incorporated into my own life even when I’m not sitting on my couch watching him paint entire forests of happy little trees with friends.
First: there are no mistakes, only happy accidents. While this is not absolutely true — trust me, there’s nothing happy about many of the mistakes I’ve made over the years — it can be applied to most situations. If you make the most out of any given situation, intentional or not, it can turn what looks to be a disaster into something spectacular. Except when we’re talking about my golf game. Those mistakes usually get compounded by something worse.
Second: you can do anything you set your mind to, as long as you try. This is one I try to keep in mind at all times, particularly with the delicate balance of going to school and working full-time. There are times that there are mountains of stories waiting to be written on a short deadline, or a mountain of homework all due the next morning. It would be easy to look at that situation and just say, “nope, not gonna happen.” But I’ve found that if I just sit down and at least make an effort, somehow it ends up getting done — and somehow done well, at that.
Now, let’s not get carried away here — I’m not artistically inclined enough to challenge the late Mr. Ross’ painting prowess. Anything more than a Paint-By-Numbers creation is probably beyond my ability.
But while you may not see me painting any happy little trees or majestic mountains anytime soon as a result of my “Joy of Painting” habit, I’m still getting a lot out of watching an old PBS show that’s been off the air for two decades.
Darren Vaughan is the sports editor for the Tooele Transcript Bulletin. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.