I hear about my friends going through series of shows on Netflix during the semester, and I’m sitting there wondering how this could be so.
Not because I am in wonderment of how they have time to do this during classes, but rather I am amazed that they are GOOD at Netflix binging while I am not.
I am SO bad at Netflix binging.
Series that take people 1-2 weeks to finish or catch up on (like a cult favorite, “Bob’s Burgers”) take me almost two months to get through a season. Even with episodes that are about 20 minutes long, I just can’t seem to sit through more than a maximum of two episodes before needing to do something else.
I’ve mulled over why this is so, and I know it is not just attributed to a restlessness or inability to sit still. I know I can do that – I sit in classes for nearly 18 hours a week, so I know I can do it. With a show like “Bob’s Burgers,” I think I cannot sit through more than a few episodes because I want to be able to drag out the humor for as long as possible, so I know that if I have a particularly rough day, I will be able to turn on my Netflix and be sure that I have enough to watch.
Now, I know this still seems unreasonable because there are nearly eight seasons to go through (I used this same reasoning when friends asked how I hadn’t caught up and finished “Parks and Recreation” within the week that I started the series), but that’s what I’m telling myself. Even when I was watching the critically acclaimed cinema masterpiece, “Mad Men,” I only allowed myself to watch one episode at a time because I knew I would spiral into obsession and never pull myself away from watching the handsome Don Draper make ads.
I’ve never been able to relate to the scene of lying in bed with my laptop on a Sunday (or weekday, for that matter) with Netflix continuously running for hours on end. You may be reading this and thinking how I could possibly be complaining about being bad at lazing around and doing nothing.
But really – hear me out. It’s hard for me to not do anything.
My mind is always racing, somewhere else. Watching Don Draper woo a big company into promoting his advertisements? Yes, but I’m also thinking about the pile of laundry that needs to be done. Laughing at how Ben in “Parks and Recreation” loves calzones? Sure, but I’m also thinking about the concept of centripetal acceleration that I need to relearn for my physics exam.
I’ve written about what it means to be productive, offering advice and a possibly new perspective on how to view work. However, I must admit that it is hard to follow my own advice.
I admit, I’ve become so restrictive in my desires to relax or laze around with a television show, always trying to get myself to write something new or be studying something for a class. Recently, I’ve realized how robotic this has made me for an extended period of time. What’s really jaded me is that this has been happening slowly and consistently over the course of my college career that when it comes to actually having a break now, I can’t even seem to fully relax because of the anticipation of the impending doom of a future deadline seeping into my consciousness.
So over this Thanksgiving break, I’m going to try. This is our first extended break off from school, and I want to finish up Season 2 of “Jane the Virgin” (yes, I know new episodes are being released each week now and so that makes me VERY behind), and I’m going to allow myself to do that for a set time during the day. Of course, there is the inevitable preparing for the next few weeks of finals, but I will let myself binge on Netflix for perhaps a day and let that be my way of being productive.
I am still learning on how relaxation can also be productive, especially when it does wonders for my mental health as a result.