Netflix knows it has a grip on viewers: The average subscriber streamed 50 minutes of Netflix a day last year, according to NBC report Crt, and CEO Reed Hastings admits he wants to keep you watching.
"You know, think about it, when you watch a show from Netflix and you get addicted to it, you stay up late at night," Hastings said in an earnings call last year, per Recode. "You really – we’re competing with sleep, on the margin."
Now, a Netflix superuser in India who watched more than seven hours a day has admitted he needs help, the Hindu reported. The unidentified man checked into the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore last week after using Netflix to escape the reality of his unemployment for six months.
According to Dr. Nahid Dave (As published in "The MID-DAY), there is a growing awareness about the long term consequences of the manner in which people spend their screen time. However, since this type of addiction doesn't have any Physical symptoms or dependencies, it is easy to brush them off. However, it is impractical and quite untenable to advise Netflix addicts to completely stay off their Computers or Mobile Phones, and this makes Treatment Slightly complicated.
Especially vulnerable are those who seek the mindless state that Netflix binge sessions bring about which helps them get their mind off an unpleasant emotional state or to procrastinate on a scenario that generates Anxiety.
The First and the most crucial step for the addicted viewer is to accept that there is a problem and asking the person to write down the advantages and disadvantages of their viewing habits. While the person may try to explain away the disadvantages, helping them understand that any perceived gains are both short term and invalid, and they have more to do with impulsive, instant gratification can help them gain some perspective.
Even if the individual is able to balance their viewing habits with their professional consequences, their social life and time they spend towards familial obligations may be compromised. At the same time, having the person makes a note of the time of the day, the place and state of mind while binge-watching over the last week, for instance, could help them to identify whether their dependence can be attributed to them not realizing when things inadvertently went too far, or whether they are using this addiction to mask any latent anxiety or depression.
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