Streaming TV shows is a very easy way to get distracted from studying or writing a paper, especially during exam time. According to statista.com, a website that compiles statistics, there are almost 33.3 million subscribers to Netflix, and 85 percent of younger millennials, aged 14 to 25, stated they watched multiple episodes of a TV show at a time in the United States. Procrastination via binge watching is common.
Freshman communications major Rayvon Black said, “I was supposed to be writing journal entries for my beginning acting class and I procrastinated by watching Netflix instead. I started “Sons of Anarchy” from the first season.” Black also noted that his grade was impacted by his procrastination. “I didn’t show up to class because I was so focused on trying to finish the whole series.” Sophomore history major Thomas Barksdale added, “I was supposed to be studying for a test and found myself watching a show called “Marco Polo” about a man who is left by his father to join in the court of kublai khan a great Mongol leader.” Barksdale also noted, “my grade in the class did suffer from [procrastinating].”
There are reasons behind this pattern. Psychology professor Dr. Kevin Karl said, “During finals week or the week before finals week, you are talking about an increase in stress, and a lot of the times when dealing with an increase of stress, the decisions people make aren’t going to be as logical.” Karl noted that it is easy for a small break during studying to turn into a big one. “If you take a break to eat a granola bar, you eat that granola bar and are done. You usually go back to studying. But Netflix, what do they do? Twenty seconds later, it’s already getting ready to go.”
Karl offered the streamers advice. “If you can study for ten to twenty minute study sessions consistently and absorb the information, you don’t need to take breaks.” He added, “It all depends on the individual and what is motivating them.”
Special thanks to Dr. Kevin Karl for infographic advice.