Why Binge Watching On Netflix Is Ruining TV

Sarah Commaroto, Staff Writer

How many times have you found yourself passed out on your couch, only to wake up and find that you’re halfway through an entire season of some TV show on Netflix? I’m sure too many times to count, for the majority of us. Netflix binge-watching has now grown so popular that watching a TV show when it actually airs seems ancient. Now there is no need to wait several months for a new season after a suspenseful ending. It’s now with a click of a button that we can see what happens next. No, we did not have to wait to see whether or not Derek lived in Grey’s Anatomy, or if Robin and Ted, from How I Met Your Mother, actually ended up together. No, we did not experience the same anticipation and excitement the directors wanted us to feel. Instead, we were able to completely eliminate all suspense and uncertainty with a single click.

Netflix has ruined certain parts of television culture. We don’t have the same kind of excitement our parents felt on Thursday nights at 8:00 when Seinfeld came on. We don’t get to watch shows like they were made to watch. No longer are friends gathered around talking about what happened on Grey’s Anatomy last night, or about the intense end to the fifth season of Dexter. Television was meant to spark conversation – it was meant to bring people together through the fictional lives of these characters. And yet, we no longer have this same sense of “togetherness” we used to.

People today simply wait for the season to be over to watch the show on Netflix.  Our society has completely dissed TV – we don’t enjoy it as much as we would have if we watched it live on weekly intervals. Binge-watching has grown so popular in the U.S, that according to a TiVO study, 9 out of 10 people watch three or more episodes of one TV show in a day.

So, the next time you find yourself lying in bed – five episodes deep in some show – turn off the computer and realize that binge watching is not only causing you to waste time, but also causing you to stray away from the way television is supposed to be watched.