Al Anany

Binge watching is one of the most underrated harmful habits of our time.

Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash

All it takes is a good cliffhanger, and you’ll never be able to NOT press play. Binge-watching is introducing harms to our society that we are simply not aware of.

It was never like that. Watching series was always regulated simply because there were not easily available VOD platforms (Video on demand), like Netflix.

I recall watching a series on my old TV. Back then, the experience was totally different. You would have to wait for next week’s episode, there’s no way around it. 

Then the world changed. Piracy and streaming websites spread across the web. You could easily watch your favorite series or movie with a simple click of a button. You’ll be spammed by a million ads in order to see what you want. But, eventually, you’ll watch what you want.

Then the world changed again. You would pay a tiny amount per month and would be seeing your favorite series or movies with no ads and fantastic quality. This sounds like an efficient solution. 

Mcdonald’s and fast food sounded like an efficient solution. Food in a few minutes? Why not?

Eventually, it leads to tons of heart diseases for people who consume a lot of it. Hence, the harms of such a product are increasing over time, the more they grow. (Unless they focus on selling their salads.)

Netflix is growing. They’re growing… very fast.

The question is, are they offering us french fries and burgers, or are they giving us documentaries to learn from?

Netflix Growth
Netflix’s geographical expansion via Geoawesomeness

Netflix, as a directory, provides its users with numerous things to learn from. However, their focus is on growth, like any similar company. Now some users know how to moderate in using the platform. I, personally, would watch a movie every once and a while and try as much as possible to stay away from trending series. This decision came to me after watching one of the most amazing series I’ve ever watched, Breaking bad. 

I loved it. It had everything. Then after the finale, I noticed that for the past week, I’ve been sitting on my lazy boy, ordering pizza, and watching episode after another. This binge-watching was not intentional. However, similar to trying to stop drinking soft drinks, or eating sugar, it is not easy to simply quit after one of the main characters just simply dies. 

TV entertainment is a very delicate business. You see, in order for a picture to be successful, there has to be an emotional connection between you and the characters in the picture. 

During your watching, you’re subconsciously getting to know the imaginary character and develop an emotional connection with him/her. Now the beauty of movies, is that this connection dies at the end of the movie because the movie is over. You don’t have this connection to the imaginary character for more than a couple of hours.

The question presents itself, whether this connection should expand to more than 8 hours per day of one’s life? Entertainment is one thing, yet developing a minorly addictive behavior is something else.

Netflix is not the problem in this scenario.

The focus on growing by creating an algorithm that tries to force the person to sit and watch for hours instead of going on with his/her life is the problem.

Netflix should have a responsibility towards everyone; the strong-minded and the weak ones. Binge-watching might not lead a person to hospitalization. Nevertheless, it’s not healthy.

At the end of the day, one can’t rely on Netflix forcing him/her to get off the platform. Almost no successful company in our era would say no to making money out of the customer and growing amongst the competitors.

One needs to fully understand the harms that are associated with binge-watching. Here is the science that backs it up. But I don’t believe you need a health article to realize that sitting in front of the TV watching imaginary characters for more than a few hours per day is not good for you. 

The least a person could do is be aware of what’s going on. The complication happens when you’re unaware that you’re in the loop, and realize this only after hours of binge-watching.

I’ve learned tons of information from series, movies, and documentaries on Netflix. I don’t intend to stop learning and having my fun there. The only crucial element is to have an enlightened vision of the process and to be fully aware of the harms associated with binge-watching.

Netflix: Here’s a suggested series for you.

Me: Not today.

I’m Al, a business consultant in Zurich, Switzerland. I believe in providing readers with value. Hence, I created Learn, a section on my website purely dedicated to guides and articles providing value in the fields of Freelancing, and Entrepreneurship. Alternatively, you could visit my journal for all my articles, or my Medium profile.

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