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Dangers of Binge-Watching Netflix

by Jamie Ortbal, staff writer

There are 40 million people that subscribe to Netflix in America.  And of these people, 61 percent admit to regularly binge-watching Netflix.

Binge-watching is defined as watching multiple episodes of a TV show in rapid succession.  However, for most people, binge-watching Netflix has come to mean more than just watching a couple of episodes in a row.  Many people have gotten into the habit of staying up until 4 in the morning or spending their whole weekends watching show after show on Netflix.

Though many people might not realize it, this habit is very destructive and harmful.  Many people admit this and dismiss it, then laugh, and proceed to go home and watch seven episodes of “Friends”.   However, this habit does have serious health concerns and is a serious waste of time for most people.  By binge-watching Netflix, millions of Americans are putting themselves at risk.  According to the American Heart Association, binge-watching TV shows can seriously increase the risk of premature death and cancer.   It can also instill addictive behaviors in binge-watchers that makes it easier for them to become addicted to other, more serious behaviors and substances, such as alcohol or drugs.

Binge-watching is also a major waste of time.  The average Netflix user watches approximately 1.5 hours a day.  While that may not seem like that much time, it does add up.  That’s a total of 547.5 hours a year.  Just think about all the things that could be done with nearly 600 extra hours a year!

In extreme cases, Netflix can take up so much time that it prevents people from getting work done or doing things that they need to get done.  It can also deprive people of sleep when they stay up to late to watch just one more episode.       

One of the easiest way to resist the temptation is to change the settings on your Netflix account.  Instead of allowing episodes to automatically start after a countdown, you can change it so that you have to press continue in order to watch the next episode.  This way, it won’t be so tempting to watch episode after episode.    

Because of all of the harmful effects that can be caused by binge-watching Netflix, I believe that you should stop binge-watching and watch Netflix in moderation by changing the settings on your account.