While You Were Watching Netflix



You lose sleep, miss out on memories and your grades slip. What do you gain?


Netflix has taken this world by storm. Beginning as a small DVD subscription service, they have now modernized the way we watch television and spend our free time. The company is now on the cutting edge of technology as an industry leader. However, its greatest impacts may be in the roots of movements including "cord cutting" and more importantly "binge-watching."


Binge-watching, according to the ever-reliable and always appropriate Urban Dictionary, is,"marathon viewing of a television series by means of digital-viewing, or a DVD box set." A quick search of the hashtag #Bingewatching on social media sites reveal groups like "3 a.m. one more episode squad," quotes including, "I see you started a new Netflix series the week of finals, I too like to live dangerously"


We are statistically the most educated generation our world has ever seen. Yet, 51 percent of millennials consider Netflix very valuable. How does a generation so immersed in knowledge become so intertwined with the shallow and fictional lesbian saga about women in jail, or the drama-filled lives of two love-struck doctors?


For years we have sought relief from the tunnel vision focus needed in our daily lives. Watching things that allow our brains to rest has been a part of civilization from the beginning. Though heading to the theater to watch a play for this information diffusion has now been replaced, there is still a very real need for relief. Yet, when does just "treating yo' self," become an unhealthy addiction, and what effect will the fact that 61 percent of the over 60 million Netflix subscribers have admitted to binge-watching at least every few weeks have on the future of our world.


Believe me when I say that I am one of the many victims of this addiction. I have an excessive list of seasons that I have spent entire weekends seeking to conquer. Yet, looking back, I have to ask myself, what has that done for me? Did it increase the experience on my resume? Did I learn from the friendship of Brooke Davis and Peyton Sawyer? Did I make memories with Blaire Waldorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen? Other than a few generic terms, did I gain realistic knowledge of the surgical field by indulging in the lives of Meredith Grey and Christina Yang? The simple answer would be no.


While I was spending hours binge-watching, I missed time I could have spent with my 9-year-old sister who teaches me daily the value of loving life and people. I could have increased my GPA by at least .5 by studying actual biology instead of watching "Grey's Anatomy." I could have made real memories with friends that I have been so blessed to be around. I could have planned trips or nights out that I could look back on and remember. I could have made more friends, partaken on more adventures, spent more precious time with my family. While I was on Netflix, the world kept spinning, and I missed out. While I was on Netflix, war ravaged through small communities in the Middle East. Innocent lives were lost. Children were taken from their parents. Aids killed a mother. Vitamin A deficiency took the sight of a 4-year-old.


These hours we have been given to us to make a difference and we’re wasting them on Netflix.

While you were on Netflix, the world is begging for your attention.

Gracin JohnsonComment