Netflix and binge watching: a great way to pass the time or unhealthy habit?
This semester I have a lot on my plate. I am writing for “The Marlin Chronicle,” taking my Senior Seminar Course, doing an internship and taking other classes while trying to maintain a social life. A typical day for me is to wake up, eat breakfast, spend time with God, watch TV and get ready for the day. During the day, I am working in Marlin Ministries and am also a leader for Cru, Campus Crusade for Christ. At the end of the day, I just want to escape from everyone and everything and watch Netflix in bed.
I love to watch different types of TV shows. If I am in the mood for a comedy, then I will often watch “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Friends,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “New Girl,” or other comedy TV shows. If it has been a long day, then I may want to watch a comedy show and just laugh and not think about the day. I’ve watched some of these shows numerous times and they always make me laugh. This is just a good strategy that I use to escape from reality.
Sometimes I’m in the mood to watch a drama, so I will watch “Pretty Little Liars,” “Arrow,” “Hawaii 5-0,” or “Gossip Girl.” I love watching dramas because if I need a break from my studies, or from life, I can go and watch an intense show that will help me forget what’s going on in my life.
For my Senior Seminar course, I have to write 20 pages on a research topic. I have never written a paper that long. For every subject that I covered within my paper I would watch an episode of “Pretty Little Liars” after completing the section.
I feel like relaxing and watching Netflix helps me in numerous ways. First of all, after I’ve had a long day, I don’t want to dwell on what’s happened throughout the day. I would rather escape and watch my favorite TV shows.
Another reason why binge watching on Netflix helps me is because I am partially an introvert. When I feel like hanging out with my friends, but they’re busy is when Netflix helps. When I watch “Arrow,” I forget about how bored I am and focus on the show.
Every night before I go to bed, I love to watch Netflix. It puts my mind to ease. Whenever I watch shows on Netflix, I just focus on what is going on and take a break from thinking about my life.
I would recommend others watch Netflix whenever they can as well. It is truly a great source to use when you want to relax. I still watch my favorite shows on the TV, but it is much better to watch TV on Netflix because there are no commercials. Commercials get in the way of watching your favorite programs. When I watch Netflix, I find myself more intrigued by shows because there are no commercials.
Netflix is also a good resource for movies. Netflix has so many movies from children’s movies to action movies and anything else that you may be in the mood for. When I am not in the mood for a TV show I will often watch a movie. The movie “Sing” is probably my favorite movie on Netflix right now.
As college students, we are always busy constantly running back and forth. When we finally have time to ourselves, the idea of Netflix may sound fairly tempting, but you should not fall for this so easily. I myself can see why Netflix sounds so appealing. It allows you to watch a wide variety of your favorite shows and movies wherever you are, but this can still lead to multiple negative habits.
First and foremost, there is the obvious issue of how Netflix costs a minimum of $9.99 – $10.99 a month. People, let’s face it, we are students and obviously can be spending our money on better things than watching Netflix. Plus, Netflix, as well as any of its competitors, normally do not even offer all the shows you want to watch. Even if Netflix does have the show you seek, shows are normally taken down so they can add more shows that nobody even knows about.
Second of all, people are binge watching Netflix for hours on end. This is the biggest reason why I believe Netflix is a trap. It tempts you to watch episode after episode, or movie after movie. To anyone who watches Netflix, I am sure you know what I am talking about. There is a curiosity you feel after watching an episode of your favorite TV show and an urge to watch more. You want to know what happens next and the curiosity just eats away at you until you give in and watch the next episode. Growing up in the era when Netflix was rising up and TV shows were getting more and more dramatic, I understand the temptation that Netflix offers, but you should not give in. Binge watching shows is making us want to actually go out and do actual activities less and less. Some of you will probably tell me later that I am wrong and that binge watching Netflix helps to ease the stress that school gives us.
I understand and acknowledge that Netflix can be a good method for taking a break from your work, but you should not allow it to become your consistent escape from stress. If you are stressed out or tired, go talk to some friends and communicate with each other, even if it’s just a text message or phone call. This binge watching habit is terrible for your mental health and tricks you into believing that you are fine, when you would not be if Netflix just suddenly vanished from your life. Netflix should not be your only way for dealing with this world and is not meant to be an escape mechanism.
The scariest side effect of constant Netflix sessions is people are getting so absorbed in their binge watching that they start to lose their sense of reality. Watching shows for long periods of time already can do enough damage to your psyche, but binge watching consistently can cause the shows to influence your way of thinking. You are never too old to be influenced by something. Watching shows for long periods of time can warp how you see the world and may cause you to begin acting like the characters you’re viewing.
I’m not saying that everyone is like what I described above, but there are better ways to spend your time and, let’s be honest, your money. Also, you know that there are better ways to get through life than Netflix. It is fine if you watch your shows now and then, I completely agree that some shows are fun to watch. Just do not allow Netflix to become the way you spend all your spare time and also do not let Netflix become a tool for running away. Face the world and move forward. Trust me, you will not regret it.