It starts with one episode. You settle into your squishy reclining chair with a bag of barbecue chips and press play on season one of "Grey’s Anatomy." Harmless enough. The first episode ends in a cliffhanger, so, naturally, you let the second commence. Eight hours later finds you with blurry unblinking eyes hyper-focused on the television screen and orange barbecue-dusted fingers poised to press the button that will bring you to season two.
“Are you still watching?” The ultimate question. *eye twitches* Of course, Netflix, what kind of a question is that. Geez. *angrily chomps remainder of chips*
Netflix binges have become normalized. Depending on the circumstances, they could even be classified as addictions. Perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is this: should we still be watching?
You’re in the middle of "Grey’s Anatomy’s" episode 5 of season 2 when you glance down at your phone. 1:53 am. Eh, one more episode and then you’ll go to bed. Four hours of sleep is enough, right? You can feel your eyelids slipping down, but your line of vision is just wide enough to see Derek Shepherd waltz into the frame and suddenly you’re okay again. Hmm...maybe just two more episodes... wow, that hair...
Not only does binge-watching mess with the amount of sleep you get, it affects the quality. The artificial light that screens exude makes us feel less tired than we may be — which disturbs our sleep cycle and exhausts our bodies.
A scene featuring Meredith Grey and her mom begins to play. You scoop another spoonful of ice cream- the barbecue chips are long gone- and wonder: have you seen your mom today? Definitely this morning… and you called her on the way home from school… hmm, now that you think about it, you haven’t seen any of your family since before you checked yourself into the dramatic world of Seattle Grace. Oh well, you’ll see them tomorrow.
Television used to be something that brought families together; having only one tv and being forced to agree on a channel tends to do that. Now that each member of the family has their own Netflix profile and shows that cater to their own specific interests, families rarely use this as an outlet to spend time together — and, consequently, an increasing amount of time is spent apart.
Finally, a good stopping point. You click the power button and Izzie’s shiny blonde hair is replaced by an empty black screen. You drop the remote on the coffee table and are heading to bed when you notice a paper sticking out of your backpack… homework? Due tomorrow?? Oh, right. That’s why you told yourself you were only watching one episode.
Excessive tv watching not only makes you forget certain responsibilities but also inhibits productivity of free time. Rather than spending time reading a book, studying, or bettering oneself, many people are opting to engage in mindless activities such as binge-watching a favorite tv show. Though it’s not easy to live without McDreamy on your screen every day, it may be prudent to keep your visits to Seattle Grace to a limit.