Drinking alcohol is a social activity that allows people to form stronger relationships. Drinking when you’re alone, or binge drinking, may be signs of an addiction problem.
Many of us have already succumbed to the addictive nature of Netflix and other streaming video services. Binge watching is a common occurrence and the average Netflix viewer watches five episodes per sitting. The auto-play feature and the endless amount of content make it all too easy to over indulge in these services. While you won’t wake up with a headache, you may become chronically sleep deprived and moody. Netflix CEO Read Hastings even boasts, “We actually compete with sleep [for viewers time]. And we’re winning!”
As Cal Newport explains in his new book Digital Minimalism, one way you can reduce your Netflix addiction is by making a pact with yourself to never Netflix alone. Just like not drinking alone, you can turn consuming streaming media into social time. The social interaction with friends, yes actual face to face, real time interaction where you laugh and perhaps cry, will foster deeper, more meaningful relationships with these people. The kind of relationships you can’t get with mere comments and likes.
Just imagine how much for more for fulfilling your life might be if you had a regularly scheduled night with friends to meet up and watch a show, or two, together. The memories this would create will never happen watching Netflix alone on your couch while scrolling through Facebook. Perhaps you’ll even share a bottle of wine while you watch so no one has to drink alone.