By Alexis Kominos
It is a Tuesday night and I still have lots of homework to do. The burning question is, “Should I watch another Netflix episode of my favorite show, or finish my homework?” Netflix always seems to win. It is midnight now, but I just finished an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and I am on a cliffhanger!
I need to watch another episode. It is the season finale of season 16, I need to see what happens next. I am going to watch another episode. I look up at the clock and try to adjust my eyes after having them glued to a bright screen for hours; it is three in the morning. By the time I look back down at my screen, the next episode is already playing and I am already tuned in. “Oh great”, I think to myself after a binge of a whole season in one day. I decide to sleep without even a single thought of homework, and wake up in the morning regretting my late night binge of Netflix shows.
Netflix is the most popular source to tune in and watch a wide variety of movies and tv shows. First it was Blockbuster, but as the internet becomes more available to the public, Netflix slowly but surely becomes the better choice eventually causing Blockbuster to shut down. According to an article on Variety.com, “On average, Netflix members currently stream 125 million hours a day” Streaming time is rising and Netflix continues to take out the less watched movies, and put in the ones the public will watch in order to keep the streaming time high.
According to an article on Independent, there is concern about the excessive amount of screen time and “if used in particular ways, could be changing children’s brains for the worse – potentially affecting their attention, motor control, language skills and eyesight, especially in under-fives, for whom so much brain development is taking place.” The excessive amount of screen time, especially Netflix- due to the fact that it is the most used movie website- is taking a toll on kids brains and hindering development.
It is also shown that 9 out of 10 American college students use Netflix. The biggest part of the audience, 71% to be precise, watch 2 to 10 hours per week. Stephanie Farace, a Sophomore at Glenelg High School, tells how she gave up Netflix for Lent. She says that is is “not as hard as [she] thought it would be and [she] has been a lot more productive. [She] spends more time doing homework and studying.” This shows that Netflix does take up time that could be used studying or doing homework. This leads into the next point of Netflix taking up the time that could be used for a good night's sleep.
Along with diving into an endless ocean of shows and movies that hinders the amount of productivity one uses in a day, the excessive binge watching also causes problems with health. Audrey Darty, also a Sophomore at Glenelg High School, says how she spends an excessive amount of hours watching tv shows and movies. “I stay up till about one or two in the morning every day watching shows and movies like Grey’s Anatomy, Blue Mountain State, and Step Sisters. I will have to admit that I do procrastinate a good amount with my homework, and when I wake up in the morning I am definitely not with it. I still get good grades so generally I am not worried about it” Darty claims. Sleep loss is a major effect of the use of Netflix by students and kids everywhere. The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School tells how sleep loss affects the body. ghgr“In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality” (“Consequences of Insufficient Sleep”). Along with movie watching lowering the productivity in one’s day, lack of sleep does as well so these two combined factors do not make a very nice duo.
Netflix is the main source people from all over the world use to tune into their favorite shows and movies, and continue to look for more out of the wide selection that interest them. The streaming time is only growing as Netflix creates updates like the running clock after the end of a movie or show that carries them right into another. Netflix continually adds new entertainment to their already very broad selection each month that keep the viewers interested and intrigued. It is a problem that is becoming more and more apparent nowadays. As technology continues to consume America, and the world, so will the streaming time of websites to watch movies and escape reality.