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The allure of Netflix

(Photo courtesy of Netflix.)

(Photo courtesy of Netflix.)

“Are you still watching The Office (U.S.)?” was the prompt I received the other day while watching Netflix instead of studying, like I was supposed to be.

Lots of people around campus can relate to this. Of all of the distractions that face students, Netflix ranks near the top.

With a diverse array of television shows, movies documentaries and cartoons available at a user’s fingertips, it is easy to see how people fall into the Netflix rabbit hole.

Netflix can be a great way for students to unwind after a long day of classes and studying. “After coming home from my class at nine o’clock at night, I’m too exhausted to study so I just watch

Netflix until I fall asleep,” said student Anthony Pacheco.

Used in this way Netflix can be an effective tool to relieve stress; however, this tool can quickly lead to procrastination. One episode of a favorite show turns into two, then three. Then, before you know it, the clock reads midnight and none of your homework is started, much less is any of it done.

One could argue that like any other temptation that draws away attention from school work, all that needs to be done is to ignore it. But Netflix is different than most other temptations.

Netflix is completely built on the idea of a “binge”. You can find the entire series run of countless television shows, such as The Office, which clocks in at at 201 episodes.

Jonathan Chase watches Netflix instead of doing his work.

Jonathan Chase watches Netflix instead of doing his work.

While a normal network’s schedule makes viewers wait week to week for a new episode, Netflix has all episodes available at all times.This leads to irregular watching schedules.

Instead of watching an episode per week of The Flash, for example, I can just wait until the whole season is uploaded onto Netflix and binge watch it in a couple of days.

Netflix also has its own original series, like the popular Orange is the New Black, of which the website releases entire seasons at a time. It is very difficult to resist the urge to watch an entire season at once.

Student Nico Morales told me, “When the last season of Orange is the New Black came out, I spent an entire weekend watching it instead of studying for my nursing clinicals.”

Just as with anything else, too much Netflix can be a bad thing. However if used as a way to relieve stress for students, it can be a great help. The key as always is to maintain a healthy balance between the two.

My advice is to study and do your homework first, then treat yourself to a bit of well-deserved Netflix at the end of the day.

Note: This article was featured in the Summer 2016 edition of The Prospector.

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