I am not of a denomination that emphasizes fasting during the season of Lent. As a Christian, and busy full-time student, however, I see the benefits of making a point to reflect on what consumes my time, energy, and money. This year, it took no time at all to see that there was one, big, time-eating monster gobbling up all the little spare crumbs of time I had. Netflix. Of course, Netflix has never been a threat to my safety, but what is the quality of a life consumed by Netflix?
Here are my top five reasons fasting Netflix this lent season has saved my life.
Talk to any college student about Netflix, and they will tell you of one time or another when sleep was missed because of a good binge-watching session. I am (or should I say, was) as guilty of this as the next person. I told myself the excuse, “It’s time that I’m relaxing and de-stressing.” Sleeping is a much safer source of relaxation. In the month since giving up Netflix, I can count on one hand the number of times I went to bed after midnight for reasons other than working late.
2. False perception of real life
If you've ever fallen victim to binge watching, you will understand how easy it is to let one show take over your life. In my own personal experience, "Pretty Little Liars" was my downfall. After about eight episodes in one night, it’s easy to get up the next day and worry about how A (the anonymous blackmailer in the series, for the non-"PLL" obsessed readers here) is going to sabotage my own life. Now that I have eliminated Netflix from my life, I have eliminated the nights of binge-watching and days of trying to regroup my thoughts to only consist of reality.
3. Real social interaction
Students arrive on campus, unpack the essentials, and maybe attend the social gatherings that are suggested to them, but when it gets to the end of the day, Netflix is there, calling their names. Being a full-time student while also working a part-time job (or, in my case, four of them) can be stressful. At the end of the day, when it comes down to the choice between social interaction and a date with Netflix, I find the latter much more appealing. However, my mom always says, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” And it’s hard to make human connections when you’re more concerned about your WiFi connection.
4. No more third-degree leg burns
There have been times, I will admit, I sat with my laptop on my legs long enough that there was concern that I might need burn ointment.
I don’t mean that I neglected personal hygiene for more time with Netflix. I may have considered the option at one point, though. What I really mean is no more embarrassing moments of opening my laptop in class to find food crumbs all over my keyboard, and scrambling to clean it off before the boy sitting next to me notices.