Photo Courtesy of Reader’s Digest

Craig Harvey
Staff Reporter
October 24, 2017


Camped out on the couch under your favorite blanket, a plethora of snacks around you. The clock reads 1:16 AM. So indulged by the images, there’s absolutely no need to ever check back in with reality. Then that one very message pops up: the dreaded “Are you still there?”

Yes Netflix, just because this is my sixth episode in a row does not mean I fell into a coma, or vanished into thin air. Now with this sense of embarrassment and loneliness, I retreat upstairs to my bed, where I can reflect on this new wealth of character depth and plot points.

When watching Netflix, or any streaming service, it’s easy to watch more than a single episode in a row, whether due to laziness, lack of something else to do, lack of will power, boredom, drowsiness, or loss of feeling in legs. The list goes on and on. This action, or should I say non-action, is called binge watching.

“A lot of times an episode will end on a cliffhanger, and I just need to watch the nextone one to see what happens,” said Jacob Recht, a senior.

A Netflix survey reports that 61% of television streamers engage in binge watching. The survey defined binging as watching two to six episodes in one sitting. Unfortunately, being too obsessed is more common than you
think.

Say you sit down to watch two episodes of Stranger Things, but you somehow convince yourself it’s okay to watch six. For some genres like thrillers and sci-fi, the median amount of time for a user to finish a season is four days. For these shows, the average viewer devotes 2.5 hours per day to their binge, Netflix reports. According to TheAmerican HeartAssociation, adults who watch more than three hours of T.V. a day double their risk of a heart attack. Other studies show that sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to your health and puts you at a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and
cancer.

If the binge must occur (trust me, there’s no getting around it) the best way to cope is to take small breaks to stretch and get the blood pumping again.

Everett Medina, a junior, said he usually feels sore and tired after a long binge and just
wants to go to bed: “I know it’s bad for me, but I can’t help it!”

As bad as this sounds, there is some good news for fans of streaming. A study done by Marketcast, an entertainment firm, states that watching with a partner or friend brings people closer together. Discussing aspects and opinions of a show is a way of reflecting someone’s holistic view on worldly topics.

Ms. Dalton agreed: “It gives us something to talk about, a common thread. I know all the English teachers have specific shows we all watch together, and then we debrief.”

In the gigantic universe that is Netflix, it can be hard for a person to find their show, or current binge. The first thing every inexperienced user needs to know is to stick with the classics. There are certain shows that are just unanimously accepted among the community as timeless entertainment that never gets old. “My go-to show is probably The Office because I love the characters, and the jokes are still funny to me even for the seventh time around,” said Kevin Silverstein, a member of
the class of 2018.

If you are a “noob” to the streaming game,these shows are must watch television. In this list you’ll hear titles such as Friends, The Office, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, and How I Met Your Mother. This is content that most people have already watched, and now rewatch because they can’t seem to find anything better. Have you ever noticed how Netflix drops all the episodes of a show at the same time? I can assure you this isn’t a coincidence or a freaky spectacle of nature. Because so many users of streaming services would rather watch more episodes at once, this is how Netflix chooses to release their content.

So, next time you sit down on the couch with your popcorn on one side and remote on the other, just remember there is a booming community of people just like you growing bigger and bigger with each late night marathon and lazy day.

Posted by Craig Harvey

Craig is a Senior at Atholton who lives in Columbia. He keeps up with all the fashion trends. You will never see him in an outfit that is not up to date and fresh. In his free time he likes to play basketball, look at clothes, and sleep. He also worked a pac sun, plays Xbox, and goes thrift shopping. A big part of his life is hanging with friends. Craig is very competitive and likes to win. His favorite show to watch on netflix is Breaking Bad. At school he is involved in DECA and is also on the lacrosse team.