Lermontov: Why do you want to dance?Page: Why do you want to live?Lermontov: Well, I don't know exactly why... But I must.Page: That's my answer too.
But it is a concern that the writing, the use of a computer, the streaming of films, and so on, is a strain on the environment. (On that subject, here is an article in Nature, here is one in Quartz, and here one from BBC.) Which leads to another situation when it is good to ask what the point is: while watching something on a streaming service.
Some time ago I was watching one of those reality shows on Netflix about homes, houses, interior design and whatnot, and suddenly I felt a combination of bewilderment, disgust, and frustration. There was no point in watching it. It was not strictly speaking bad; it was just nothing. There were so many things I could have done instead of watching that unnecessary series, and most of them would be better for me, and give me more pleasure. Even cleaning the kitchen would be a better use of my time. By watching that series on Netflix, I was belittling myself, and in a way showing my subordination to something that I should not give in to. Much of the output on Netflix, and many other of these streaming services, are like that. Netflix, and not least Disney, have projected a disingenuous idea of themselves as providing convenience, relatability, and progressive values, and made it seem hip, politically correct, and self-evidently obvious, that you should be home and watch yet another episode of Young Wallander or The Mandalorian.
If you take great pleasure in watching whichever series you are watching, it is not a problem. Carry on watching. But if you struggle with giving a satisfying answer to the question "What is the point of watching this?" then I would suggest you do something else. Unless physically unable to, a long walk would for example be a good thing to do instead. And even if you do enjoy the series, taking a long walk is probably still the right thing to do.
You may also ponder whether a company that thinks like this is to be trusted as an owner and gatekeeper of contemporary cinema:
“Given the incredible success of Disney+ and our plans to accelerate our direct-to-consumer business, we are strategically positioning our company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value,” Mr. Chapek, who succeeded Robert A. Iger as chief executive in February, said in a statement. “Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it.”
Contemporary life is politically precarious and ugly, and we are living through a climate disaster. We are also living our lives surrounded by the superfluous, constantly bombarded by it, force-fed it by way of our phones, tablets and computers, but also at conferences, meetings, team-building exercises, and all kinds of events to have come to be a regular part of daily life. I think these three things (the politics, the climate disaster, the superfluous) are connected, and that they are mutually reinforcing each other.
Since some months, I do no longer use my mobile phone for anything other than calling, texting, and checking vital things like time tables or two-factor authentication. I have been cutting back drastically on my usage of Facebook. I have cleansed my Twitter feed. I have unsubscribed to almost every newsletter I ever signed up for (and some I have no recollection of having signed up for). I have stopped watching mindless Netflix shows. All from the perspective of the question "What is the point of this?" I do not any longer want to waste my time on the superfluous.
Whereas we may feel helpless against the onslaught of racism and fascism, and the disappearance of the rainforest, the coral reefs, the bees, the polar ice caps, we can still take some control of our own private lives, cut back on the superfluous, and use that time to instead do some good in this world. And if not in order to save the world, then at least to feel better about ourselves.