Netflix: More Harm than Good When You Are Bored

Netflix and chill. Netflix and pizza. Netflix and cuddle. What happens when Netflix has controlled your free time and freethinking mind?

2016 has arrived and, by now, you’ve probably forgotten all about cable television. Honestly, you have a perfectly good reason to do so. Netflix has surpassed our expectations of movies and television with variety, enabling us to discover the hidden treasures we never knew existed.

From personal experience, I know I’ve spent many, many hours throughout the week or spent the day off relaxing and watching Netflix to pass the time. I’m sure you have practiced a similar ritual, whether with a friend, “friendlier” friend or relative.

The truth is, behind all of your time dedicated to the captivating media outlet, you could be weakening bonds with other people and eliminating opportunities to learn. You may unknowingly be using it as a distraction to prevent development of new relationships. This isn’t to say Netflix is slowly taking over and damaging human interconnection, but actually it is.

Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye. ~ Bill Hicks

There is a reason your parents always told you not to watch too much television. Even if they had no idea why, there is a logical explanation. Besides dampening your relationships with other people, too much television and Netflix can replace time needed to learn new information and expand your mind. Unless you’re dedicated to watching documentaries, there isn’t much Netflix can offer you that other mediums can’t.

Reading, exercising, practicing art, discovering new music, trying out new recipes, writing and learning a new skill—these are all activities that help humans to grow and maintain a healthy, freethinking mind.

I say freethinking because without the assistance of literature and art, humans cannot form unique and refined opinions. How can you possibly develop this kind of mind when you spend six hours binge-watching episodes of Orange Is the New Black?

Recognizing Your Netflix Habits


If you’re unsure if Netflix has this kind of effect on you, ask yourself these three simple questions:

Have I skipped out on weekends/evenings with friends or family to binge-watch Netflix?

Yes – Although once in a while is excusable, it is never acceptable to dump people who want to see you.

No – Good for you. You probably have strong relationships with others. At least, if you’re not busy watching Netflix that must mean you have enough free time to do more substantial activities.

(Remember when Netflix promoted warnings against binge-watching? I wonder why that ended.)

Do I constantly turn on Netflix when I have nothing better to do?

Yes – Try a new hobby. Your brain and body are in need of your attention. Netflix cannot supply that need.

No – Awesome. Maybe you don’t need to read these questions to yourself.

Do I find it difficult to find something new to watch on Netflix? (Probably because you’ve already seen everything that interests you.)

Yes – Give Netflix a break. You need something else to do. Again, meet up with a friend or do something new that can positively feed your brain.

No – You’re probably in the minority here, but that’s not a bad thing. You more than likely spend your valuable time doing important things, like being in nature or studying. Right?

Too Much Sitting

woman sitting and watching netflix

If you found yourself saying “Yes” to the majority of these questions, it may be possible you’re spending too much time on the couch. If you don’t believe Netflix can distract your mind or impair your relationships with others, then there’s always the problem with sitting down too much.

You just spent eight hours at work in a chair, and now you come home to sit down for several more hours. Sitting for too long can lead to a greater risk for diseases like obesity, cancer, depression, diabetes and more.

One last point I should mention is the impact Netflix can have on your romantic relationships. Coming home from work, reaching for the remote, hitting the Netflix button and watching your favorite new series together can be fun.

Netflix has made movie night so easy that you don’t have to leave your couch and you don’t have to watch just one movie or just one episode. You can view as many as you want. (So long RedBox.)

What happens though when people in relationships consistently turn to television, replacing a sensual evening filled with dinner or a date night somewhere besides the house? Think of the negative influence an unhealthy amount of Netflix may have on those kinds of relationships as well.

For now, you may not realize the affect it truly has on you, but your future self may really appreciate some time away from the TV. When you catch yourself texting, “Not feeling well. Next time?” so you can surf through options for the next drama or murder mystery to watch, remember how too much could affect your mental and physical health as well as your relationships with friends. Also, no one appreciates a flake.

About the author

Mel Perry

I enjoy dancing, painting, handmade jewelry and twirling around the city.

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