You probably like us watch a lot of Netflix. But do you ever wonder if you watch too much Netflix? If you spend more than seven hours a day in front of a screen blasting the latest Netflix show or movie into your eyeballs, well, you might be a Netflix addict. That’s apparently the case for one 26-year-old man in India.
According to The Hindu (h/t Indiewire), one health clinic in Bangalore, India is treating the very first case of “Netflix addiction.” The Service for Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic at Bangalore’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences is helping an unnamed man kick his Netflix habit. The man apparently spent over seven hours a day watching Netflix, beginning first thing every morning for six whole months.
Manoj Kumar Sharma, a professor of clinical psychology, explained the man’s excessive Netflix viewing as a “method of escapism” from his daily problems, like unemployment and pressure from his family to get a job. “He could forget about his problems, and he derived immense pleasure from [watching Netflix].” I mean, same. Don’t we all like to forget about our personal crap and the awful state of the world by escaping into a fictional reality for a few hours?
But for this guy, Netflix apparently started messing with his sleep patterns and leading to “eye strain and fatigue.” After all, Netflix CEO Reed Hasting did say the service’s number one competitor was sleep, so… I guess they succeeded? To “treat” his “addiction” The Print reports that the clinic has prescribed him stress-relieving techniques, five-minute deep breathing exercises, and career counseling. Honestly, those first two are necessary for anyone who is a living, breathing human trying to get by in the world right now.
It’s hard to blame the guy.
Netflix releases a bajillion new shows and movies every five seconds, making it more and more impossible to keep up with everything. I’m someone who gets paid to watch and write about movies and TV for a living, and still I feel like I can’t keep up these days. By the end of 2018 Netflix will have released 1,000 new Originals – yes, you read that number correctly! So is it their fault people are becoming so dependent on streaming to relieve stress? Is it just the general state of the world? Maybe Netflix should start inserting mandatory mini meditation videos every few hours into a binge-sesh, or a prompt like “Hey, maybe go take a walk outside before the next episode!”