Binge watching causes distraction among students

By Gabrielle Herrera
Pulse Staff Reporter

graphic of how long will it take to watch your favorite showsNetflix has 33.4 million subscribers, and 61 percent of them admit to binge watching. Students everywhere now have a new way to procrastinate.

Here at Palo Alto College, many students admitted to binge watching at least one series. Most students revealed they watched entire seasons of major hits, like “The Walking Dead,” “Breaking Bad” and “Sons of Anarchy,” in one sitting.

“It’s a huge distraction. Whenever I binge watch, I forget about homework. I still get the job done, but with a lot more procrastination,” said Christian Lopez, a sophomore Criminal Justice major.

Students who said they’ve never binged watch before vowed to never commit the act because of the negative aftermath they have witnessed in close friends.

“I have a friend who failed his online course. He forgot it was even there because he was too busy catching up on “The Walking Dead,”” said Celeste Oviedo, a sophomore Biology major.

Even though Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and many more streaming services have been around for years, the number of users has skyrocketed over recent years because of the new accessibility.

Addiction to shows and binge watching is nothing more than a natural reaction to having access to large amounts of content. If a show is good, people are going to talk about it. Add accessibility into the picture, and addiction has a big chance of being the outcome.

Mark Caunder, a sophomore Construction Business Management major, said, “I assume to get more into details about a show and what everyone is talking about. After you’re introduced to the show, you get addicted from every episode’s cliffhanger.”

Some of us are weaker than others, much more vulnerable to the power of a simple remote, touch screen or mouse. It is nice to escape reality every once in a while as a sheriff in a post-apocalyptic world or a chemistry teacher gone meth maker, but when is it too much?

Problems arise when this time-consuming trend comes before school, work and health. While some Palo Alto students promised to never binge watch a show, most admitted to binge watching with guilt and some form of emotional attachment to the show.

Finding a balance between work, school, family and health is hard enough. Adding an addicting show into the mix brings conflict. Everyone loves a good show, but it is up to you as an independent human being with multiple priorities to monitor yourself.

“I tend not to start new shows during the school year. There’s been times where I have homework, but I need to watch a show,” said Amanda Lopez, a sophomore Public Health Major. “I try to do a rewards system, where I do X amount of work. I reward myself with an episode.”

Keeping up with trends gives us some satisfaction as in-the-know members of society. Having immediate access to trending shows gives us instant gratification. It’s not an easy task to stay away from the temptation of binge watching, but it is achievable. Maintaining a balance between your life and your new favorite show will keep you sane and out of trouble.