Nothing can derail a study session or keep me up to 3 am (when I was planning on being asleep by no later than 11) quite like Netflix – basically it’s simultaneously my best friend and worst enemy. Don't worry. If you are constantly derailed by your addiction to shows, you are not alone. A reported 60% of Americans (shamelessly) admit to participating in Netflix marathons – and on a global scale, users stream over 1 billion hours of TV per month! Seriously people, that’s a lot of Grey's Anatomy
With the ability to stream entire seasons in one sitting, people (including myself) are getting tired of the traditional network TV experience. Commercials? Obnoxious. Cliff hangers? Pointless. I can just wait to see what happens in 15 seconds – and as a notoriously indecisive person, 15 seconds is WAY too short for me to decide whether or not I should watch the next episode. The ability to binge on episodes back to back resonated with viewers who love having the ability to sit and watch multiple episodes at their own pace. Netflix has taken this to heart and when they release new original content, viewers get to access the entire season. As a full time college student, this is both a blessing and a curse. I have a tendency to watch 3 hours of shows without even realizing it, so I know that I CANNOT open Netflix if I have to get anything done that evening.
The struggle was so real when season House of Cards came out on Valentines Day this year. I definitely considered staying in and watching the Underwoods and their most recent plot, instead of going out with my boyfriend of the time for the “romantic night out” he had planned. Turns out his grand plan was me picking up Chipotle for the both of us, a drink in a sketchy dive bar next to Pike Place Market, and a $5 bouquet of carnations (Life Pro Tip: NEVER bring a girl carnations on a date, they are funeral flowers!) – The life lesson I learned was some relationships will disappoint you, but Netflix will always be there. Even if you are in the midst of a post-graduation employment slump, Netflix is hiring! That’s right; you will be paid to sit and binge on Netflix’s new shows! The position is to be a “Tagger,” meaning you watch movies and shows and then generate tags describing what you just watched. Pretty sweet gig, right? I have a theory though that some sort of reverse psychology would kick in and your brain would start associating TV with work, and start to view other things like laundry or picking up that econ textbook you should have read as relaxing or fun.
Seeing as I have already watched all of Breaking Bad, Sherlock, How I Met Your Mother, House, and even Pokemon I’ve been poking around Netflix in a slightly desperate search for a new obsession worthy show. This is how I stumbled into the documentary section of Netflix! My recent favorites have expanded my knowledge of mail order Russian brides, evangelical Jesus Camps, and the shady side of SeaWorld. Growing up, my mom always told me that watching too much TV would melt my brain, but if you’re watching the right shows Netflix has the potential to be a fairly educational experience.
Love it, or hate it Netflix is here to stay. The world of streaming has revolutionized the way we watch TV and has taken procrastination to a whole new level. So put on your comfy clothes, grab some snacks, and get your gameface on –the new season of Orange is the New Black just came out, and it’s time to have a Netflix marathon!