Are You a 'Netflix Binger'?

Posted by: Jo Banks

Date: 08-02-2017

Is the box set binge becoming the scourge of modern society?


Over the last 12 months or so, it’s been hard to escape the massive emergence of the ‘box set’ culture. I hear people talking about it almost everywhere I go; at the gym, in supermarkets, in workshops, and not least of all, on Facebook, where people endlessly compare the merits of their latest TV obsession - even during a recent taxi journey, the driver was extolling the virtues of the BBC's new drama, 'Taboo' vs. Amazon's 'Vikings'.  

Not only do we have box sets available on Sky or cable, but many of us also have additional subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon Prime amongst others, which beam an endless supply of programmes directly to our smart TV's, phones, iPods and tablets. It's almost impossible to get away.

What was once an ad hoc activity seems to have taken over much of our free time, coining the phrase, ‘The Netflix Binge’. I have to admit that I haven’t entirely escaped the lure of the occasional box set myself. Sporadically, I’ve been so sucked into the drama of fictional characters, that I’ve forgone my usual activities in order to find out, almost compulsively, what happens next.  During these periods, my creative output decreases significantly.  I don't tend to read anywhere near as much, if at all, and my writing declines to the point where I do the minimum I need to get by.

While on the positive side, it's great to have some escapism and totally relax for a while, the downside is that we are no longer as productive as we used to be. I've recently tested this theory by asking delegates in my various workshops, what they used to do with their free time before ‘Netflix'. The answers are astounding. Without realising it, many people have given up activities that they used to find enjoyable, e.g. painting, reading, football, gym, clubs, walking – some even admitted to cancelling plans with friends in favour of staying home with snacks and their latest box set!

Do you recognise yourself here? If so, what have you been putting off or what you could you be doing with your time that would be more productive and add real value to your life and those of others? For example, writing a book, taking more exercise, starting a new hobby, studying for a qualification, spending more quality time with the kids! 

Over the next week, keep a log of how many hours you spend in front of the TV/laptop/iPad watching box sets. The results may just be the wake-up call you need refocus the use of your free time, enabling you to achieving a more fulfilled life.


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