Netflix: Is binge streaming the new college addiction?
12/18/2013 by grantziegler
Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif. Photo courtesy of Associated Press. By Jodi-Ann Jarrett
“My name is _____ and I’m addicted to Netflix.” At first glance, this statement reads like the opening line of a comedy bit, but could it be a serious cause for concern? Not according to NLC student Stephen Barton, “I’m not addicted to Netflix, I’m addicted to television and entertainment on any type of screen.” But Barton could be among the many deniers. Type the words “Netflix” and “addiction” into your Internet search engine and you’ll find plenty of people willing to admit they’re addicted to the online streaming service. Although “Netflix Streaming Syndrome” is not a real disorder—blogger Brian Moylan coined the term on Gizmodo.com — many of its symptoms are true indications of addiction. In an independent study conducted in various classes at North Lake College, only 1 out of every 20 people were willing to admit the possibility of addiction. However, an alarming majority self-identified with at least two of the common symptoms of addiction described by the American Psychological Association (APA). These symptoms resemble the dependency stage of addiction which occurs when the “drug” of choice takes precedence over certain areas of an individual’s life. Sixty five percent of students and faculty members admit to sacrificing sleep and temporarily neglecting responsibilities such as completing assignments to watch Netflix shows. Less than one percent admitted to engaging in risky behavior such as streaming videos at work, in class or in traffic. According to the APA, dependency is followed by tolerance, a stage that forces greater degrees of consumption in order to achieve the same level of satisfaction. Forty five percent of the surveyed individuals admit to binge watching (watching multiple episodes or seasons in one sitting) on more than one occasion....
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