Netflix is a trap, leads to addictive behavior and unhealthy habits

Nov. 2, 2015

Audrey Jensen
[email protected]

“Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?”

It wasn’t easy to break up with you Netflix, but it had to be done.

On average, subscribers spend two hours watching movies and episodes on Netflix every day. That’s two hours I should use to study for my midterms, write papers and work on articles.

Like many relationships, we went through the honeymoon phase. All I wanted to do after class or work was come home and spend the night watching Netflix.

Netflix gave me the opportunity to discover my favorite TV series, such as “The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Parenthood” and “Gilmore Girls.”

Netflix didn’t mind that I only wanted to watch its shows and laugh at its jokes, but I realized after finishing eight to ten seasons of two shows in less than a few months, I was addicted.

“If you watch one episode tonight then you will still have enough time to start your assignment (that’s due tomorrow)!”

Trying to reason with myself and limit my time watching my favorite shows didn’t work.

Each episode ends with a cliffhanger, and I only wanted more. One episode turned into an entire season, and starting my homework at 11 p.m. changed to 2 a.m.

I know myself all too well to believe that I will be fine with watching just one episode in a night.

The first time I distanced myself from Netflix, I could only stay away for a few weeks. Before I knew it, I was on season three of “Once Upon a Time.”

According to an article published on The Huffington Post in September 2014, binge-watching TV shows has an overall negative effect on our minds and bodies.

Research was conducted on 1,500 online respondents that claim to binge-watch regularly.

In the article, Corrie Pikul explained that while lounging slows down circulation and metabolism, complicated narratives and emotionally complex characters are cognitively and emotionally taxing.

Pikul added that once cliffhangers are resolved, the show just ends, and we feel sad and empty afterward, looking for the next show for our new “friends” and fulfillment.

Another aspect of deleting Netflix has made me realize how impatient we can be.

With TV, we are used to waiting a week before the next episode. But Netflix’s new system of binge-watching shows and movies does not allow us to take what the creators, producers and actors of the shows want us to.

This semester, I went cold turkey and deleted all traces of Netflix so I wouldn’t be tempted to start another series.

It’s my senior year and since I dropped Netflix, this has been one of the most productive semesters in my college career. It’s embarrassing, but true.

Productivity in my life increased by at least 70 percent since I deleted my Netflix account.

My homework is done days before the due date, and I socialize with real people rather than lock myself in a room all night like a grumpy hermit.

Two weeks after committing to delete Netflix from my life, there were moments I came home and felt the urge to introduce myself to new characters emerged in an enticing plot, but I couldn’t fall into this never-ending cycle again.

Now I don’t think twice about wasting my time on the computer.

We had a good run Netflix, but my life is better off without you.