Netflix and chill – this phrase has long since acquired some intimate tint but let’s not forget that it is still based on, well, watching movies. The majority of Netflix audience is represented by college students. The two facts add up to make a threatening mix – don’t students spend more time watching TV shows rather than doing homework? Isn’t it dangerous for their performance and future careers? We decided to take a look at how being a Netflix subscriber may affect an average college student’s life and educational career.
Numbers come first. 9 out of 10 American college students use Netflix. The biggest part of the audience, 71% to be precise, watch 2 to 10 hours per week, which adds up to an impressive monthly and annual figure. Rutgers University is the one with the biggest number of Netflix subscribers on its campus.
However, despite the fact that the bigger part of Netflix’s popularity hinges on its addiction-generating powers, the majority of students report that being a Netflix-er actually helps them with social interactions, which in turn reduces stress and improves productivity.
How is that possible? Well, first of all, Netflix helps to find friends. When there are no things in common between two people that have just met, Netflix often supplies the topics for discussions everyone feels comfortable to be involved in.
To some, Netflix even became a bridge to finding love! Watching movies together often leads to something stronger and more lasting than casual Netflix friendship. Besides, today it’s “Tell me what you watch, and I will tell you who you are.” Therefore, connections made with similar tastes are often robust and lasting.
Researchers, however, have a much less optimistic view on binge-watching TV shows, which is now synonymous to being a Netflix subscriber. The increasing popularity of the service leads to a decrease in hours of sleep an average student gets.
It’s not the only negative effect! Binge-watching movies can have a negative impact on female fertility in the long run and the very ability to sleep as an immediate effect. Sleep deprivation, in turn, leads to weight gain, which is, in turn, a major cause of stress. Finally, long exposure to light during night hours can cause depression and boost stress hormone levels.
To strike a balance, the very existence of Netflix is not a threat to health and academic progress of an average student, but the habit of late night binge watching is (and it has only become possible because of Netflix). Even those who don’t need 8 hours of sleep a day might suffer from other negative health consequences such as stress and depression.
So, it might not be the right time to terminate your subscription, but it’s definitely time to stop burning the midnight oil over your laptop. Even though they’ve just added another season of your favorite TV show.