The curious case of Netflix addiction

Today, technology has become a lifestyle; it’s everywhere and continuously growing. Social media is everywhere, encompassing almost every topic.

One truly fascinating aspect of technology is that almost every individual is addicted to Netflix. Binge watching is something every Netflix lover has in common with the other. Television companies are aware of this, releasing an entire season of a TV show at once and banking on fans to be glued to the couch, watching episode after episode. Netflix has become the number one stop for any series looking to make a mark. Fans’ addiction to Netflix has also played a huge role in creating a larger and broader market for the company.

Founded in 1997, Netflix specializes in providing streaming media, on demand online and via DVD by mail. Netflix expanded its business with the introduction of streaming media, while retaining the DVD and Blu-ray rental service. Two decades later, Netflix is reported to have availability in over 190 countries and over 93 million subscribers worldwide.

What usually keeps people hooked on shows is the cliffhangers at the end of each episode or season. Suspense created by not knowing what will follow causes the body to produce an excess of CRH, a hormone that mediates the release of other stress hormones in the body, causing the body to remain alert. Another reason for continuously watching a series is to feel accomplished. After finishing an episode and checking it off the list, one of the hormones triggered is dopamine, which is associated with pleasure. Finishing an episode or a series allows fans to feel like they have achieved a task, leading to a release of dopamine in the brain.

One simple reason why most people are addicted to Netflix is that it makes them happy. Watching different shows that one can sometimes relate to, laugh or be fascinated with is interesting for anyone. Plus, bright lights, from one’s TV, laptop or whatever device they may be enjoying their favorite show from can naturally increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter commonly known for its contributions to happiness and well-being.

However, addiction to anything is not a matter to be taken lightly and can cause serious harm to one’s academia, work or daily routine. Getting few hours of sleep can also have some catastrophic effects on one’s health. Therefore, how does one overcome the addiction to Netflix, or better yet, control it?

One strategy is to always pause a show in the middle to avoid the cliffhanger at the end of the show. This way one completely avoids the need to know feeling of the show or season might end or what may happen in the next episode. It also aids one in doing different tasks that the Netflix shows keeps them from doing. Another way is to come up with a schedule or a fixed number of episodes to watch before going to bed. This way, one can get enough sleep and stay on track with whichever show they may be watching.

In summary, finding a good balance is truly vital for an overall healthy life. Overconsumption of entertainment media is a very easy habit to fall into that can make one forget that the outside world exists. Every individual has the right to enjoy themselves, but setting one’s priorities is important for being successful in the future.

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