By Savannah Christie, CMWN Intern

Movie Image
Movie Image

Why is it that Netflix seems to have the ability to take away all my motivation and plans? It is almost impossible to watch a single episode of a series. Before I know it, three or four hours have gone by and I find myself wondering how this happened…again. In an effort to spend less time wasting my time, I have been thinking about what leads to timeless Netflix binges. In addition to procrastination, I realized there is also something else contributing to my Netflix splurges: my state of mind. When I browse through Netflix, I let my feelings do the deciding; if I am feeling pretty relaxed then I am not going to chose a sad film and if I am feeling anxious, I am not going to watch a program about crime or a thriller. Netflix series or movies allow my mind to be absent- I don’t have to do any real thinking. For the time being, my to-do list sits untouched on my desk and my Gmail inbox fills up, but I am so infatuated with my program that my priorities are put on the back burner. It is truly the content of the series that is sucking me in. Watching a dramatic series or a tear-jerking movie enables viewers to live in an alternate reality for the duration of the program. Netflix therefore becomes an escape from my own stresses and challenges because I am distracted by the lives of fictional characters. My mind becomes involved in solving the character’s issues rather than me focusing on my own or what I need to accomplish. Such a fascination with fictional characters’ lives or complicated storylines creates a distraction from the amount of time that passes while watching TV. Having easy access to thousands of shows and movies are what leads to Netflix binges. For me, it is easy to become involved with others’ problems and use them as reasons to avoid my own. But there comes a point where I have to hit pause and be productive. Because I made the decision to binge on Netflix rather than be productive first, I am have trouble separating my life from my series and I can’t stop thinking about returning to my show and what is going to happen next. I realize that I am responsible for entering myself into this cycle and that my decision to watch Netflix has taken away my motivation to leave the house. What would happen if I prohibited myself from watching Netflix and required myself to be productive first and foremost? I think I would find that after accomplishing everything I need to, I will actually have more motivation and energy to get out of the house and do something healthy or social. What a great feeling it would be to know I actually did something with my time rather than waste it watching fictional series or movies. So chill, Netflix, I’m busy.

Chill, Netflix
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Amanda Kearney-Smith

I founded the Network as the Executive Director in 2011 and, before that, I was a program director at Mental Health Colorado. My educational background is in Developmental Psychology, but living with bipolar disorder has drawn me to this work. I'm most passionate about protecting the civil rights and dignity of others. In my free time, I love reading, practicing yoga, and spending time with my family here and in Illinois.

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