There is nothing quite like the autumnal atmosphere. Leaves reveal hidden beauty as their colors warm and the air becomes cold enough to draw shivering souls back to the indoors after months spent outdoors during the summer. Luckily enough, the warm glow of a computer monitor is waiting to greet those seeking shelter from the inclement weather far outside the embrace of a cozy blanket. For many college students, the attraction of movie streaming and binge-watching shows guaranteed to make one feel good is at times too tantalizing an option to turn down.
Password sharing for media streaming services as well as greater access to online streaming has permitted more and more students to watch shows or movies that they want. Furthermore, platforms such as Netflix actively seek to fuel binge-watching culture with the inclusion of an auto play feature as well as the release of an entire season of a show in a single moment. With this kind of access to shows at a practically limitless and yet ever-increasing rate there will be a greater pull towards streaming media in lieu of productive activity.
As a college student with responsibilities ranging from classes, participating in student organizations and keeping up with a job, it becomes a difficult task to balance everything without being pulled in to watching more and more while taking a break from it all. Part of this is a peer created pressure to watch a show to be able to discuss it with others. The death of serial television creates an anxiety of spoiler or a sense of “falling behind” which serves as another motivator to spend more time watching a show.
Statistical surveys from Business Insider show that if Netflix were to be a domestic broadcast station it would be placed within the top four most popular networks. This popularity to stream is something that is replacing the traditional form of watching shows to receive all of the information as soon as possible. Perhaps this is playing into the culture of instant gratification that young generations today are being criticized of.
It is very difficult to find a solution that works for everyone and the system is already in place to draw people in. When streaming shows, the ideal running time is between a half hour and an hour because the most common way that humans process time is broken to make them want to watch more. Other than time budgeting and prioritizing responsibilities, there is little that can be done.
The decision comes down to the individual to leave the mass culture and allow themselves to catch up on their own time, when it best suits other obligations. The future of video streaming will be a force to be fought against. As companies find more ways to draw people in, it is important to create strategies to remain productive.