I found myself in a very common situation recently. I had filled my daily to-do list with achievable tasks. I had psyched myself up for a day of success. I was all ready for a full day of productivity when I decided to stop for a five minute procrastination break before I began. I checked my phone and Twitter feed out of habit, then casually scrolled through Netflix, not in the mood to actually watch anything. Over and over, I pressed that arrow down, down, down until something popped out at me. “Oh, look,” I said excitedly. One of my favorite shows – which hadn’t premiered a new season in two years – was finally back with a fresh, twelve-episode season. Immediately, I pressed play. I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t think. I said to myself, “I’ll watch one episode and then I’ll get my work done.”
Just one episode.
Of course, I couldn’t stop after one. Hours had passed and I was so engrossed in my show, I completely forgot about the long list of things I was supposed to do. It was dark outside then, too late to clean, and I didn’t want to go out and do anything. So I sat back down on the couch, twiddling my thumbs. “Well, I guess I can watch a couple more episodes.” Before I knew it, the clock had struck midnight.
Yes. Yes, I had binged. I had binged until I had made it through most of the season. I couldn’t stop, I didn’t want to. This has happened to me before, but it’s a situation that, I think, has been occurring far too often. I try to fight it, I really do. But I kind of like it. It takes my mind off things. I get lost in it. Sometimes it’s okay to stop and say, “Thanks, Netflix. You win.”