Last summer, Alex Kano ’14 watched so many episodes of television through Netflix’s online streaming service that the company felt obligated to check on her well-being.
“Netflix sent me an email telling me how many hours I watched in a row and then asked me if I was okay,” Kano said.
The company’s concerned email was brought on by Kano’s ravenous consumption of TV shows like “Breaking Bad”, “Orange is the New Black,” “Lost” and “Scandal” in hours-long marathon viewing sessions.
The email from Netflix, combined with the way she breezed through all 13 hours of the first season of “Orange is the New Black,” has, in part, led Kano to conclude that she is addicted to Neflix.
“Netflix fulfills all my desires. I come home and I go to my computer or Apple TV to watch Netflix,” Kano said. “So I guess you could say it’s an addiction.”
While most Netflix users do not receive check-in emails from their direct streaming dealer, many students have habits that may fall under or very close to Kano’s self-diagnosed addiction.
“I watch Netflix almost every day, but I am definitely not alone,” Alessandra Marenzi ’14 said. “Most, if not all of my friends watch Netflix regularly.”
Glenne Carter ’14 admits to spending an average of one to two hours every night watching TV on Netflix.
“It definitely takes away from my school work,” Carter said. “I procrastinate with shows. I watch everything from ‘Orange is the New Black’ and ‘Gossip Girl’ to ‘Scary Movies.’”
When he comes upon a show that he really likes, Max Rothman ’14 devotes a similarly large portion of his day to using the online service to watch it.
“I typically will not watch too much Netflix until I find a show I really like,” Rothman said. “But, when I find that show, I will watch it at least two hours a day, maybe more, until I am done with the entire show.”
Some other students prefer to get their Netflix fix in even larger, binge-sized chunks.
“On the average weekend, I spend around six hours on Netflix,” Kelly Crosson ’14 said. “But I spent around 14 hours a day during winter break.”
“Binge-watching is my favorite way to watch a show,” Garrett Cayton ’14 said. “I can avoid the painful wait between episodes, and the long period between seasons, while watching at my own pace. Netflix allows me to get really involved with shows I may have missed on air, and since it has been out, I have binge watched at least 20 [series], some multiple times through.”
“Recently, I discovered Netflix, and, now, I binge watch shows,” Luke Soon-Shiong ’14 said. “It has taken over my breaks. It would be 11 o’clock, and I would say I am done with work, but, before I know it, it is 5 a.m.”
For some students, their TV time spent on Netflix comes directly out of the already-limited hours they allot for sleeping.
“Netflix takes away from my sleeping time,” Megan Kaplan ’15 said. “I stay up all night watching it. I like that you can watch many episodes in a row.”
Despite losing large amounts sleep, Kaplan and others cite using Netflix as an essential form of stress relief.
“I do not think it takes away time from my work because I watch it after I am done with my work to de-stress before I go to sleep,” Kaplan said.
“It is a problem,” Crosson said. “But it is the only thing that de-stresses me.”