My grandparents or hell, even my parents, have told me stories about black and white TV, surfing through only three channels or fighting with their siblings on who got to watch their show. Today, that scenario sounds like the plot to a bad reality TV series that anyone can access on various mediums. And they could watch it while simultaneously recording three other programs, at least, or just using a website like Hulu or Netflix to watch it online later. Technology has grown so prominent in our society that we have evolved into a world where we no longer adjust our schedule to what we wanna watch but we make our programs adjust to our busy lives.
As a student, this is both an awesome and a horrible thing.
I use Netflix. And since I came to college without a TV, this is one of the only ways I am able to watch anything. Through Netflix, I have witnessed the way magic can be used for good or for evil in BBC’s Merlin or laughed at the antics caused by pseudo-psychic and pal Shawn and Gus on Psych, to name a few favorites. And I absolutely love it. I love the convenience that Netflix provides, the fact that I can watch it on my laptop and how many options that they have. It has provided me with an easy way to escape from the crazy responsibilities that being a college student involves.
Yet, while it serves as a source of entertainment that I enjoy, it can also serve as an easily-assessable distraction. The things that I love about Netflix are also the things that are most dangerous about it. It is a double-edge sword, like one Arthur wields as he prepares to ascend to the throne of Camelot. On Netflix, after you finish an episode, it automatically starts the next episode ten seconds later, conveniently convincing you to sit and watch another episode…even though you’ve already watched seven episodes in one sitting.
Let’s face it, watching Shawn and Gus try and convince the SBPD that their latest victim was actually murdered by a prehistoric dinosaur is a lot more appealing than the pile of Biology homework waiting for you across the room (and honestly, a dinosaur murder prolly makes more sense than the notes you tried to take anyway). This can be deadly and cause you to become infected with what I call Netflixism: finishing an entire TV series without moving in a single day. I am guilty, as charged, as a repeat offender of Netflixism.
Thus, the revolution of TV is a powerful advancement that students must learn to yield appropriately. It can be convenient and entertaining, but can also be enticing and captivating, keeping the audience locked in for, dare I say it, days at a time. As members of the 21st century, this power has been thrust upon us.
I hope you choose to use it well.