The Netflix dilemma

Netflix has created a problem in America that can’t easily be solved.

Thanks to Netflix, we have a new and even better way to waste our time. Thousands upon thousands of hours worth of TV shows and movies ready for viewing at any time; Netflix has created something brilliant that has changed the way we watch TV. For eight dollars a month, Netflix provides millions of dollars with of media.

The problem, though, is people spend hours watching things they normally wouldn’t watch if Netflix hadn’t given them such easy access to it, and now teens that already love procrastinating have a great new way to waste their time.

Nick Perry, junior, has spent 5% of his life watching Netflix, since eighth grade. That’s over a thousand hours of his life. When asked if he’d go back and change anything, he said, “I might cut down a little, but don’t feel like I’m dumbed down… I can see how it’s a waste of it though.”

Ethan Kratt, junior, has also spent a over a month of his life watching Netflix.

He’s not the only one though; plenty of high school students live similar lives spending countless hours streaming Netflix.

With all the time time people waste on Netflix, it begs to ask the question what could have been accomplished had Netflix never been created.

One way Netflix is used is as a tool of procrastination. When it come to procrastination, a person will only procrastinate as long as there’s something to do. Eventually people become so bored they return to their original task. So for many students Netflix is just a method of procrastination.

The problem is, Netflix is never ending. There’s always another movie or another TV show to watch, with more constantly being added to the library. Even the people that watch Netflix for entertainment when they truly don’t have anything else to do, it’s dangerous, because a person wouldn’t have any reason to get up and do something else. So they could still spend hours watching Netflix.

What could be accomplished had Netflix never been created? Manys students would probably have better grades, and in peoples lives, more things would just be done, but what if that time was productivly?

Take Breaking Bad, one of the more popular shows on Netflix–there are a total of 68 shows in the series. That’s fifty-one hours. If that time was spent work, even for minimum wage, that $370 that could have been made. A longer series like The Office that has 201 episodes, is 74 hours; that over 500 dollars that could have been made.

Anything could be mastered in the time we’ve spent on Netflix. Whether it’s a sport, an art, or anything thing that can be mastered could be mastered.

Clay Shirkey explores this is idea, calling it cognitive surplus. As a country, we have hours of cognitive surplus, time we can spend doing whatever we want; we can choose to use it on something like Netflix, or we can do something of value to help society. As just a country, we have an infinite amount of cognitive surplus that could be used to be amazing things, but instead we watch Netflix.

So thanks Netflix, for giving the world something great, and making us a little dumber.

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