As the days pass, India’s technology is improving and increasingly reaching more citizens. Young people spend their time streaming on Netflix, YouTube, Hotstar, etc. Streaming services that put up a show’s entire seasons that can be viewed on laptops, mobile phones, tablets and other devices that increase the number of people binge-watching. It’s increasingly common for people to spend several hours watching the entire season of a show or their favorite movies. Further, streaming platforms are improving their services and offering more genres to users.
Young users spend long hours on streaming platforms, leading them to addiction. This addiction is similar to gaming addiction which was declared a mental health disorder by the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier this year.
Last week, the Service For Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans) in Bengaluru received its first case: A 26 year-old man who was unemployed and turned to Netflix to shut out reality for more than 6 months.
According to a report by The Hindu, Manoj Kumar Sharma, the professor of clinical psychology said that the 26-year-old man started out by spending over seven hours a day watching shows on Netflix as it helped him feel good. “Whenever his family pressured him into earning a living, or when the shows are on offer continuously. It was a method of escapism. He could forget about his problems, and he derived immense pleasure from it,” said by Dr. Sharma.
What started as a habit turned into an addiction as he realised that he couldn’t stop binge watching shows on the platform. It started disturbing his health as addiction led to disturbed sleeping patterns, eye strain and fatigue. The doctors at SHUT are now helping him overcome his obsessive habit by prescribing relaxing exercises. “In due course of time, he can enjoy Netflix but also be productive in other domins,” Sharma said in a statement to Quartz India.
The average subscriber streamed 50 minutes of Netflix a day last year, according to CNBC report, and CEO Reed Hastings admits he wants to keep you watching.
1) You feel like Netflix is your best friend or first love.
2) You binge-watch and don’t realise you’re on the last episode.
3) You move from one show to the next without a break.
4) You keep watching the same shows and movies again and again.
5) You constantly refresh the home page, waiting for new shows and movies to be added.
6) You haven’t left your bed in three days.
7) You haven’t changed your clothes for a few days – you don’t bathe or brush your teeth.
8) Your eyes have become red and you can barely open them because you’ve been staring at the same screen for hours on end.
9) You feel physical pain when you’re not at home binge-watching.
10) You cry over fictional characters more than you do in real life or when seasons of your favourite show get added.
11) You have Netflix on all devices.
12) Netflix certainly has become your most visited website.