Some people do running marathons, and I, do Netflix marathons.
Television series are a wonderful thing. Just for a moment, you can sit back, tune out, and become immersed in the fictional world of your choosing. But, when the credits roll and you’re forced to re-enter your real and ordinary life, it leaves you wanting more.
This very principle – the need to know – what happens next? Is she going to end up with him? Will they really kill that character off? – Is what makes television series so addictive. And, it is the principle that drives the many online-streaming services we have come to love today.
A few years ago, if I wanted to binge-watch a TV-show I would have to search the web for a quality link, or a torrent and wait for them to download at a painstakingly slow pace. But now, thanks to Netflix I have an expansive media library readily available at my fingertips. And this has become an issue.
Above are some situations all too familiar to me. I finished The Good Wife in 3 weeks, Gossip Girl in 4, and ploughed through Altered Carbon in a fascinating 5 days. The shock of unknowingly running out of episodes has become too much for me. And it got me thinking…
In today’s media landscape there is a plethora of available content, meaning that the value in television series comes from exclusivity, and quality of the media. Which is why, I (like so many others) choose to pay for content through sites such as Netflix, or Stan, which can be found for free elsewhere. While, the luxury of going to the next episode with one click of a button combined with the ‘one-more-episode’ mind-set is what I believe has lead to my bad habit of binge-watching television shows.
So, by considering how people consume their media, and comparing it to how they used to consume it, we can discover some very interesting things about the behavioural habits of individuals. Habits which, may have once been shamed but are now normalised (in this case through the circulation of Netflix memes).