Not to beat a dead horse, but sometimes an evil horse needs it. I’ve whined before about my Netflix addiction and now I am in the midst of the worst break-up of my life. It’s demanded radical measures which may be just as scary.
It all began the week after Christmas when my well-intentioned children installed more electronic whatchamathingies on my television sets. In addition to Netflix, I have something called Sling and Ikono which provide unlimited streaming of every series or movie ever produced.
But Netflix is my drug of choice and apparently I’m not alone. The phenomenon known as “binge-watching” Netflix has spread across the globe as new series are being cranked out at the speed of light. The service provides non-stop exposure to what we once called the “soaps” but with much better characters and story lines, but a whole lot racier.
And you can keep watching as long as you are there to punch the button when your screen sends up the prompt “Are you Still Watching?” Can you believe your TV can carry on a conversation with you these days? Since there are no commercial breaks, you have exactly 17 seconds between episodes to get up and do a push-up which is the sum total of my exercise program.
Netflix streaming has increased 350 percent over the past two and a half years. Users have watched a mind-boggling seven billion hours of Netflix in the past three months. I can account for several hundred, and I haven’t left the house except to replenish my stash of microwave popcorn.
And get this, my credit card company sent me a warning that Netflix has become a national health hazard. I guess they noticed that I’m not spending any money or putting anything on the card except for the monthly Netflix fee – a whopping $8.55 a month. Gosh, if this continues, it could destroy the already fragile economy.
But it gets worse. Research from the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that users who view more than three hours of television per day are more at risk for heart disease, stroke and even cancer. Three hours is only an appetizer for me.
My eyes are itchy and swollen and my muscles have begun to atrophy. Of course, my emotions are all over the place depending on whether I’m watching a comedy or a tragedy. I call it Nexapause, and menopause is a piece of cake by comparison.
I’m pretty sure nobody on their deathbed ever wished they’d spent more time watching Netflix. After watching for almost a solid month and not getting dressed or answering the phone, I made up my mind that such behavior must come to an abrupt halt. February 1 was my targeted break up. Well, so much for that. The month is beyond half over and I’m still binging on to the final seasons of “MidSommer Murders,” while promising myself “just one more!”
My voluntary “shut in” status demanded radical measures to break the habit. So at an advanced age and with a bad Netflix hangover, I took a job as interim editor of the local newspaper. Talk about jumping from the pot into the fire… It won’t be forever – just a month or two until permanent editor can be hired.
Oh shoot, I just read that the third season of House of Cards will begin streaming on February 27. I hope my new job allows sick leave. My advice is if you don’t have Netflix, don’t get it and if you do, you better get a jo