Netflix Addiction Plagues All Ages

Streaming media service compels viewers to binge on full seasons in one sitting


Will McKnight

Netflix is considered one of the most successful startup companies of all time. It was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Los Gatos, California. The company initially began as a DVD delivery service but has evolved to include thousands of on-demand shows and even original Netflix TV series and movies.

Why go out on the weekend when you can stay in and watch four seasons of “One Tree Hill”?

Netflix overdose is very real. Students and teachers alike admit to watching entire TV show series in one day, proving the allure Netflix has on all generations.

During Shaker’s record calamity day stretch, the streaming service became the default activity for students stuck at home. Netflix provides thousands of TV shows and movies on demand and in DVD form at an inexpensive monthly price. For $7.99 a month, usually paid for with a parent’s credit card, a world of TV and movies becomes accessible.  In September 2013, Netflix reported approximately 40.4 million subscribers. Now it is almost impossible to know someone who hasn’t used Netflix.

“I watch Netflix usually every day,” said sophomore Carolyn Sindelar. “It’s kinda sad how fast I can watch a season. The shortest amount of time I’ve watched a TV series was in two weeks for five seasons,” she said.

Seems almost like an addiction, right?

One reason Netflix may draw so many users is the site’s design. Once you finish viewing an episode of a TV show, a countdown begins on screen, ticking down the seconds until the next episode starts. If you foolishly fail to shut your laptop before the clock strikes zero, the next episode begins — and it is impossible to stop watching.

“It’s halfway sad that all my willpower disappears when the countdown starts,” Sindelar said.

On the depressing occasion that you finish a TV series, Netflix instantly suggests similar series and movies for you to binge on until the wee hours of the night.

While Netflix has cataloged 40.4 million users, this number does not include the countless people who use their friends’ accounts, avoiding the monthly fee. Sindelar admits to being guilty of this.  Sharing account access also means sharing personal viewing habits, however;  the service displays icons of recently watched programs or films.

“All my friends that are on this account can just check Netflix and know where and what I’m doing because they know what I watch,” she said.

Junior Zach Reizes also uses a friend’s account. “I have gotten kicked off before because too many people were using the same account at the same time,” he said.

English teacher Chuck Kelly provides an interesting perspective on Netflix mania. Kelly grew up in an incredible time when there were only three TV channels (a travesty!) “My mother was very strict about television. I couldn’t watch ‘The Three Stooges,’ ” he said. Kelly still remembers his shock at first hearing profanity on TV.

Nowadays, Kelly thinks some TV shows are a bit “much,” citing the highly vulgar HBO series “Girls.” However, this hasn’t stopped him from becoming a part of the on-demand craze. Some of Kelly’s favorites are “Downton Abbey,” “Dr. Who” and “Modern Family.”

Nonetheless, even Kelly has binged on TV series, in a typically English- teacher manner, making it through the first season of “Downton Abbey” in one day.

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