Recently it has come to my attention that Netflix has had to make special commercial breaks or advertisements solely dedicated to motivating people to get off their couch and to “binge wisely.” In one of the commercials, a well-known public figure asks what you should currently be doing. In another, some child star reprimands you for not getting off the couch all day, demanding that you get up and make yourself a proper meal. One actress even chastises you for possibly skipping work or missing an important event in favor of sitting on your couch.
Now I, like many other college students, love Netflix. I honestly could sit and watch my favorite shows all day, but at a certain point the obsession has to stop. Procrastination is the action of delaying something or avoiding something, though it may be pressing. Now, almost anyone can be a procrastinator. All a person has to do is put off doing work. In college, many people do this; they put off whatever work they have until the absolute last minute. Anyone can do that, especially in today’s world where there are abundant forms of entertainment and fun things to do. Almost anyone can be a procrastinator, but only those who are particularly skilled can be a highly effective procrastinator. I like to consider myself a “highly effective procrastinator”: a student that is excellent at leaving tasks and assignments until the absolute last possible moment but then sits down and focuses for a long period of time, doing their absolute best work and ensuring that the assignment gets done, focusing all their brain power and effort. However, it absolutely shocked me that so many people were abandoning their work, taking sick days and even missing family gatherings in favor of sitting in front of the television.
In this decade, people have more access to information and entertainment than ever before. Almost anything we could imagine wanting to see or to know is just a few clicks away, but we are abusing it. If people are missing work, avoiding important events or activities and isolating themselves from friends and family, then the reign of Netflix has gone too far. We are abusing the technology in favor of mindless entertainment when there are entire worlds of knowledge right at our fingertips.
America already has a bad reputation; we are called “the fattest country,” “the laziest country,” “the most obnoxious country,” and currently we are playing in to those stereotypes. I am not saying that it is not okay for a person to relax and watch their favorite shows. I am not saying that a person cannot watch movies with friends and take a day or two to just lay back and block out the rest of the world. However, I have great concerns over the fact that more and more people are hiding in their houses or in their dorms. They are putting off their responsibilities and avoiding things that could possibly benefit their academic, professional, and social lives.
Overall, entertainment and relaxation are important. Taking time out to just be by yourself and recuperate is good, but we cannot let the allure of Netflix stop us from being productive members of society. We are a nation with some of the most opportunities and the most abundant sources of knowledge; because of this, we should not waste our talents and opportunities by hiding behind our screens. So get off the couch, go outside, hang out with friends! Netflix will be there tomorrow and tonight and next week, but whatever lecture or other opportunity you are missing could be the chance of a lifetime, and you cannot take that for granted.