Daily tip: The Netflix effect

Younger generations are getting sucked into the processes of binge-watching, wall-scrolling, picture-sharing over actually living IRL. There is a lot of comfort at the tip of your finger, but at what price?

Remember when our parents used to say that watching TV too much is not good, or staying at the computer may harm our health? But this article is more about the effects of Netflix-like services and social media apps have on our mental state and habits than the actual physical implications of having a sedentary life in front of the screen.

I've noticed that for the past year, most of my dates - friendly or not - (I'm divorced with a kid), find various ways to detract an actual meeting outside by choosing to stay at home and watch Netflix. Apart from the situations where, probably, the counterparts didn't want me to meet with them for personal reasons outside the scope of this article, there were an awful lot of times when our date was delayed because:

  • "it's too cold"

  • "it's too hot"

  • "it might rain"

  • "I'm tired"

  • "I'm bored"

  • "I need to watch the last episode of X"

  • "there is the premiere of Y"

At first, I deemed it like a way of rejection. Which is fine by me. But then I noticed how the same persons had other complementary habits as well:

  • over eating

  • depression

  • anxiety over failure

  • anxiety over trying to achieve anything

  • mid life crisis

  • young adults behaved like they had some sort of premature existential life crisis

  • extreme overthinking

  • rumination

  • extremely critical views

  • over-sharing intimate and sometimes trivial life moments

Let's do a simple math scenario approximation:

You're 23 years old. This is the best time of your youth. In Europe that means that you're probably out of University and have or seek a job.

Between 23 and 30 you binge watch Netflix, you most certainly have some social media profile accounts.

Netflix is a pretty "old" company, and in 2014 they started wider global expansion according to Wikipedia.

Twitter was founded in 2006, Reddit in 2005, Facebook in 2006 (publicly), Instagram in 2010, etc.

A year has 8760 hours.

If you sleep well and healthy, that means 8h / day, then we need to reduce 2920 hours of sleep.

8760 - 2920 = 5840 hours for daily activities in one year

According to Business Insider, a Netflix subscriber watches an average of 2 hours per day. That's average!

That means 730 hours per year. And that is not "binge watch".

5840 - 730 = 5110 hours

That means that you spend 12.5% of your total active life in one year on Netflix. I'm not impressed, it could have been worse.

But wait, we spend 261 working days a year if we have a job. I'll remove 30 days for personal time off.

So 231 working days of 9h/day (including launch) mean that you spend 2079 hours a year doing your job.

That's 35.5% of your active life in one year.

Hold on, if you're young, than you probably have social media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit ... and the list goes. God knows how much time you spend on these. You can check in your phone apps.

So by the time you're 30 years old you spend a minimal of 50% of your active life on Netflix, social media and working. If work is not your passion, it can lead to burn out very fast.

50% between during 7 years means that you spent 20440 hours of your life online scrolling social media and watching movies. That is 2.3 years of your young adult life.

You have my sympathies.

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