Nielsen Media recently conducted a study to analyze the behavior of Netflix, Hulu (Plus and Basic), and Amazon Prime users. Here’s what they found: most of us like to binge watch, to the tune of 88 percent among Netflix users and 70 percent among Hulu Plus users.
Are you in the 88 percent? That’s fine. You’re just doing your duty to become a better you. No, listen. I am fully prepared to justify this and arm you with excuses—that is, totally legitimate arguments—to snuggle in with your buddy Benedict Cumberbatch or Jon Hamm whenever you damn well please.
If I’m being honest, there’s a real good chance I would skip an event to watch an episode of a beloved TV show if I didn’t have these subscription services. Sound like you? Even a little bit? Cool. Because your Netflix account does more than just enable you to go on an Orange Is the New Black bender. It gives you the power to choose when you watch, even if it happens to eat up hours or perhaps days at a time, and to do so without commercials. The latter frees up literally minutes during which you can do some critical thinking about your five year plan.
Ashamed that you spent a beautiful sunny day indoors, unshowered, binging on boob tube? Don’t be. Tweet about that stuff. At least one of your professional connections has the same feelings about Destiel, and they’ll chime in. Congratulations—you just forged a more profound bond, launching you from casual acquaintance to rad acquaintance. Now you might not run out of things to talk about next time you see each other.
Your second wind
Think you can’t pull all-nighters anymore? Think again. Just when you commit to watching one last episode, zombies pick up on the location of the main character. Remember this moment when a deadline is looming and you’re up during the wee hours. Don’t you dare rest your eyes. Tiredness didn’t stop you when you wanted to know Scully’s fate after being kidnapped, so tiredness shouldn’t stop you now.
“What’s the worst that could happen?” I don’t know, Daleks? Cylons? Some loose cannon on your team could pull out a gun and shoot a kid that just tooled up on a dirt bike—seriously, the possibilities are endless. If you plan for every speed bump and outcome, things will probably go smoothly. After all, unpredictable disasters are mostly reserved for fiction (and more populated areas).
Be a good boss or coworker
This should be obvious without the help of television, but—don’t be crazy, evil, or both. There’s probably a Kingslayer lying in wait, and it’s probably someone you trust. The real world doesn’t dole out justice quite as reliably as TV does, but you could be the karmic exception to this rule. Your crappy behavior probably won’t result in a sword in your back, but hopefully your officemates will wear you down by stealing your pens or something.
All facetiousness aside, you really shouldn’t beat yourself up for taking a little lazy you-time now and then. And if you are prone to beating yourself up, do things my way—passively take in TV while doing less-focused work like skimming your RSS feeds or doing data entry. Two birds, one stone. In the meantime, throw your excuses / totally legitimate arguments into the fray.