Op-Ed: Netflix and Ill

| October 18, 2016

How many of us are there who do not have a Netflix account? How many of us imagine ourselves having “fun” watching television shows on Netflix, or perhaps even a movie? How many of us imagine fun as lying in bed all day and surviving on junk even while the sun is shining bright outside, inviting us all to take a dose of Vitamin D. Why tire ourselves out when we can “enjoy” watching shows on our laptops or television, right? In my opinion, no.

First, I do have a Netflix account and enjoyed watching Breaking Bad. It is handy having streaming accounts to watch what you like online at any time of your choice. But my point and question is, must Netflix consume all of our time?

This question actually popped up into my head when I was discussing my undergrad life with one of my present roommates. He named a dozen television shows and I shook my head to all of them as I am not much of a television fan. He practically started laughing at me and asked what I did in my undergraduate life if I didn’t watch television shows. He asked if I was just a nerd who studied all day long to actually get a good GPA. I just laughed back to throw off the topic, while over a thousand images flashed in my head: of those late night highway strolls with my gang of friends, of evening football in the rain and coming back with shoes filled with rainwater and mud, the casual hop over to a friend’s rooms just to pull their leg or just make fun of them while they call with their family or girlfriends. Even something like a late night walk to the highway makes me smile silly. If watching TV shows is life, what did I do?

Technology meant to introduce a convenience, a service and a luxury. But it has now become a “distance-creator” and has made man slaves of laptops and televisions. No longer do children and people wait for holidays, no longer do people call friends to enjoy a sport outside. Gone are the times when people want to plan an outing. The new definition of “fun” has unfortunately been reduced to just watching TV shows. What this has done is that it has created distance amongst people. Not only do people choose the idiot box (over idiot friends, of course), but this has also started to take a hit on people’s social interaction and mental health.

For starters, it is very appealing to sit at home on a cozy day and watch TV shows but doing it all day is not particularly healthy. Followed by that is the tendency of us to bend our back due to our concentration. Add to this our work culture which again is not very back friendly and baam!  Come mid-30s, hello spondylitis.

Now speaking from the “humane” perspective. People have lost the interest in getting to know others, because getting to know people involves hauling your lazy self to places may it be others homes or even a cafeteria. Life is losing its main thing: it’s no longer interactive. Sure, our laptops and televisions have made our “technological” and “virtual” life very interactive by offering a horde of features but a surge of human interaction with “user-interfaces” has seen a dip in the real world interaction between the “users”.

It’s a difference so stark between our generation and the generation just before us that its’ both amazing and shocking. Consider a living situation of 4 people sharing a house. Let’s say 10 years back, you’d find almost at all points of time more than 2 people sitting in the main hall or some room cracking jokes, playing cards or doing something “fun”. Come 2016, enter a house and all you’ll find is 4 closed doors behind which shall be 4 people with their earphones plugged in watching something on their laptops over the internet.

Anything taken to an extreme is too bad and in my opinion, an over-reliance on television shows and movies over people is downright stupidity. My judgement may be critical but it comes from my personal experience and observations. While these online recreations are sure stress-busters, nothing will ever sound more fun to me than having “fun” with friends, even something as silly as playing cards. At least that entails some basic level of human interaction.

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Category:Opinion, Student Life

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