Why our energy is collapsing like a ‘House of Cards’
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
Netflix is a huge blessing to families, people between 13-35, and anyone too cheap/disinterested to pay for cable. It allows us to watch many shows, commercial free, with the next episode playing immediately after. It even sends us a notification after the first two episodes, asking if we’re still watching—which everyone hates, because of course we are. Binge-watching three or more episodes in one sitting isn’t just easier to do with Netflix; it’s the new normal. But it’s certainly not healthy.
A recent survey showed that 91 per cent of Netflix users have binge-watched a show at some point.
Almost all of us can admit to watching many episodes of a show in one day, and why wouldn’t we? All the episodes stream continuously. You get to find out immediately how the Winchesters got out of Hell again, and you don’t even have to get up to play the next episode (except when those annoying notification comes up). Watching an entire season of a show in one day used to be almost unheard of. Now, it’s the most common thing to do when you’re sick, hungover, or just plain lazy.
It’s common sense that watching TV for hours instead of going outside, exercising, and spending time with your friends isn’t good for you. But watching a whole series that took five years to air in a couple of weeks is a great feeling. It’s especially encouraged in Netflix-exclusive series where all the episodes air at once (29 per cent of those surveyed binged on House of Cards). Still it’s easy to forget how harmful binge-watching is and get carried away, especially when you’re watching a show on a laptop or tablet instead of an actual TV.
Particularly concerning is the popularity of Netflix amongst teenagers and young adults. The convenience and accessibility of TV series for this generation means many would rather lose themselves in the world of Gossip Girl than face reality, which is only slightly less dramatic. You don’t need to go further than your social media feed to know what I’m talking about. Everyone’s talking about their love for Netflix and how much TV they have watched in the past weekend. Why is this something to be proud of in our culture?
Ten years ago, watching a show excessively was seen as something only nerds or couch potatoes did. I personally have nothing against those groups—in fact, I identify as both. However, I think we should take a long look at how much time we spend watching TV each week and think about more useful ways to spend that time. Maybe we could aspire to live our real lives as the next Frank Underwood, Piper Chapman, or Walter White—or maybe someone with more morality, but I don’t judge.