Don’t Netflix and Chill: Binge-watching a threat

Are you a Netflix addict?

By Eetika Kapoor| 3:30 PM

Another malady adds itself in WHO’s International Classification of diseases: The Netflix disorder.

With unlimited options comes the danger of binge-watching. Netflix is an American media-services provider headquartered in Los Angeles with 130 million online subscribers.

India has half a million Netflix subscribers but it’s still a premium service. Alarm bells went off when a clinic in Bangalore admitted its first case of Netflix addiction in National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS)

Netflix has turned unhealthy behavior into an accepted part of millennial culture. It does not even try to hide the fact that its ambition is to hook us all. Reed Hastings, Netflix’s CEO, has said its biggest competitor is sleep. “Think about it: when you watch a show from Netflix and you get addicted to it, you stay up late at night … we’re competing with sleep,” he said last year.

How do we cure this insidious urge of binge-watching?

Experts say there might be red flags that people usually ignore. According to Mumbai-based psychologist Harish Shetty, addicts of online television can be spotted by their behavioral and viewing patterns. Much like drugs, addicts of online television feel the need to watch shows every day, gradually withdrawing from their environment. This often results in strained and dysfunctional relationships in both the personal and professional spheres.

Depression, anxiety, high blood pressure and psychosomatic illnesses are some major consequences of binge watching.