The story of how binge-watching came to be
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You need to start on your homework. Only one episode, you promise yourself. You convince yourself it will help you relax and clear your mind. Before you know it one episode quickly turns into five as your eyes are glaze over and all self control has gone out the window.
How did this blessing and a curse of a streaming service come to be?
Flashback to a world where Blockbusters lined every strip mall
Didn't want to drive to Blockbuster? Good news: with Netflix you could get rented DVDs mailed right to your house. How convient! Browse online for what movie you wanted to order, and wait for it to arrive in the mail. Oh, and of course don't forget to mail it back when you are done!
Cutting the Cord
Click the TV to cut the cord!
Netflix has evolved from a DVD mail service into an online streaming empire. As a result, more and more people to choose to "cut the cord", or stop paying for cable/satellite TV service, replacing it with online streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or any combination of services. According to Forbes, cord-cutting is expected to jump more than 30% in 2018 alone and that number is expected to grow to 55% by 2022. This also does not take into account "cord nevers", people who have never paid for cable service as a result of online streaming. Netflix has become an affordable alternative to cable while still offering quality content, making the cable-free life a very tempting option for consumers.
Any Netflix subscriber knows just how easy it is to let episode after episode loop through on TV. So why is it so darn hard to stop? There actually is some science behind it. While watching a good show a feel-good chemical called dopamine is released into the brain. Letting the show loop to another episode allows instant gratification and the release of more dopamine, creating a cycle that makes it difficult to pull away from the TV. Binge-watching is relaxing and it can be a fun way to escape from reality, as long as it's a temporary escape and not leading to isolation.
Looking for some ways to curb binge watching? Consider the following:
Let's test your knowledge.