The Impact of Netflix

Graph representing watching  Netflix vs GPA in school.

Graph representing watching Netflix vs GPA in school.

Mackenzie Shuman, Ranger Review Reporter

19 years ago, a tycoon was founded by the name of Netflix. This company originally made it’s name by starting as a DVD by mail business, and Netflix offered unlimited rentals, no late fees, and no shipping and handling fees. This alone attracted thousands of people. As the company grew, its largest competitor at the time, Blockbuster, offered to buy Netflix for a price of $50 million; however, Netflix declined. After a few years of no profits, in 2003 they earned a profit of $6.5 million and in 2005 they were shipping out 1 million DVD’s a day and eventually caused the downfall of Blockbuster, according to Business Insider.

Year after year, Netflix has grown into a world-wide movie and television show viewing service. Now, according to GlobalWebIndex, Netflix is responsible for the largest source of online traffic in the evenings. Included in this traffic is 58% of the U.S teen population. Instead of studying, doing homework, or participating in extracurricular activities, teens are spending their time binge watching their favorite television shows.

When asked in a survey during lunch, many students said that if they were not watching Netflix, they would be spending their time doing homework or studying. Others said they would be doing outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.

So what really is the impact of Netflix? Students that were watching ten to twelve hours of Netflix a week had drastically lower GPA’s. Those who watched four or less hours had an average of a 4.0 GPA. This shows that the more that students watch Netflix, the worse their grades can possibly be impacted.

Binge watching Netflix also has a negative effect on a student’s day to day life. Before Netflix online streaming, the average time a student slept on a school night was about 7 hours, already less than the recommended 9 hours. With Netflix being a popular pastime, students are now getting an average of about 6 hours of sleep on a school night being so caught up in all the amazing movies and shows.

Though sleep deprivation may not seem like that awful of a thing, psychologist have found that sleep deprivation leads to depression, slower reaction times, and even weight gain. The amount of screen time spent on Netflix is also causing higher levels of stress hormones, making teens in a more unhappy and angry mood.

Because Netflix has become a regular habit of teens across the country, it may be unrealistic to stop its usage all together, but students – and their parents – should be aware of the consequences Netflix can have on grades and overall quality of life despite the large popularity of Netflix.