Netflix Attention Trap
When Netflix first began as an online DVD rental service I seriously doubt its creators had any idea it would eventually become an absolute trap for every spare hour millions of subscribers have in a day. Netflix as a whole is expanding rapidly every year, with it being online, the company itself is taking steps to ensure they remain in the public eyes, hearts, and wallets in this ever changing mass media world we live in today. With their extensive on demand streaming collection as well as their DVDs still available for rent plus their new creation of original content, Netflix has found nearly every way to keep millions of people wrapped around their little fingers. In today’s day and age this is a pretty impressive feat considering the competition from other subscription services and also audiences already very short attention spans. I believe the key to their success is the format of their site which makes it extremely easy to binge watch shows and movies as opposed to waiting for new episodes weekly. Just as Mareike Jenner said in the article we had to read for class called Is it TVIV? On Netflix, TVIII, and binge watching, “a major factor of binge watching is that it is disconnected from scheduled television”. The ability to schedule when and how many episodes we watch at a time has created the phenomenon called binge watching.
What is Binge Watching?
The Jenner article defines binge watching as watching “2-3 episodes in a row”, however many binge watchers today would laugh and say the average binge is closer to entire seasons in a sitting or at least 4 or 5 episodes minimum.
This mass consumption of media in one sitting is becoming an extremely common practice despite any worry of the detrimental effects of doing it. Netflix itself compiled its viewing figures for 2017 and had some quite impressive findings in the nature of bingeing their content. Netflix stated on their site “Netflix members around the world watched more than 140 million hours per day, that’s a little more one billion hours per week, and the average member watched around 60 movies on Netflix this year”. While this statistic is from a global perspective it does not dampen the shear scope of the world wide binge. The New York Times presented an article on their site discussing the binge caused by Netflix and their findings confirm my theory of bingeing is caused by non-scheduled content and subscribers ability to watch entire seasons of shows at once instead of waiting week by week. The article stated, “Netflix viewers were inclined to binge, and reinforced the company’s faith in its policy of releasing all the episodes of an original series at once”.
Is This Healthy?
As mentioned briefly before, subscribers binge without ever considering the health effects of their actions and Netflix does not seem to care either. The University of Southern California presented medical study on the effects bingeing has on the human body and why it is important to stop for a while and do other things. The study stated, “when we’re deprived of sleep, lots of stuff can go wrong. For one, anxiety and depression can increase. That makes us prone to mistakes, which can stress us out more”. After hearing this is could be safe to say bingeing is helping the anxiety epidemic in the generations of today. The article also mentions, “research shows binge-watchers report higher levels of loneliness and depression” thus also adding to the bingeing is negatively effecting our health argument and yet we still do it.