Culture /// Screens x
Why I Deleted Netflix and Hulu

Some things are just more important than my TV dates with Dwight Schrute.

Saying Goodbye to Lethargy

Some things are just more important than my TV dates with Dwight Schrute.

By Lindsey Davis, Iowa State University

I started buying into Netflix well past the time of my peers.

It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college that I learned the glory of streaming television shows and movies online. Netflix was both a blessing and a curse when I first began using it. A blessing because I had a the world of TV at my fingertips for just $7.99 a month whenever I wanted to unwind, but a curse because I’d often talk myself into skipping class on a rainy or snowy day in order to catch up on “One Tree Hill.”

I continued paying the monthly fee for Netflix until this past spring semester. For three years, I allowed myself to divulge in endless online streaming, and I wasted more time using Netflix as a procrastination tool than I’d care to share. Some of my favorite shows to watch were “Portlandia,” “New Girl” and “The Office.” I also really appreciated Netflix’s vast collection of documentaries. I didn’t feel as guilty putting off writing a literary analysis if I was learning about relationships between people with autism instead. And you better believe I made time in my schedule to binge watch “Making a Murderer.”

Why I Deleted Netflix and Hulu
Image via Yahoo

Don’t ask me why, but at some point I decided that Netflix wasn’t offering me enough options of shows to watch. I wanted to stream more reality shows, and I needed an outlet that would enable me to watch any episodes of “The Biggest Loser” that I had missed on primetime TV.

Enter Hulu. If you weren’t already aware, Hulu is basically Netflix’s equivalent, but offers the current seasons of shows, unlike Netflix. It was the answer to my prayers. I now had even more access to programs like “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” “Survivor” and “Superstore.” I could keep up with current cable television without having to work my schedule around the broadcast times. Take that, NBC.

So, for my entire junior year of college, I could watch basically anything I wanted by utilizing either Netflix or Hulu. I really am shocked that I passed all my classes because I’d rush home at the end of the day and dial up one of the streaming sites on my Apple TV. For the rest of the evening, the sweet sound of on-demand video played in my ears.

Over the course of time, I began to feel disgusted with how lethargic I had been spending my evenings. Yes mom, of course I had to spend some nights working on homework or occasionally running at the gym, but for the most part the five or so hours before bedtime were spent watching either Hulu or Netflix.

Why had I allowed myself to become such a lazy piece of blah? When did I decide it was a great idea to spend $16 a month on video streaming sites? My poor college budget sure could have used that money elsewhere. I decided I had to put an end to my idle habits.

What did I do? Why, I deleted both my Netflix and Hulu. I bet you’re shocked and envious and want to know how much my life has improved since, right?

First and foremost, I have been a lot savvier with how I spend my time. I am admittedly ten times busier this year than I have been any of the last three years, so I definitely don’t have the space in my schedule to watch a ton of TV.

Thank goodness those tempting on-demand video sites are out of my life, because I can’t afford to procrastinate this semester.

When I choose to relax at night, I read magazines or news websites instead of watching TV. Not only am I a more educated person because of these choices, but I also don’t feel guilty about wasting a night away watching mindless reality shows.

I’ve also realized how unimportant TV. sitcoms, dramas, etc. really are. I had made tube-time such a crucial part of my day, basically allowing my life to revolve around it, and for what? What did I gain from binge-watching so many different shows and movies? Sure, I became media knowledgeable and had something meaningless to chat with coworkers about, but in the end it was all just wasted time.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with opting to watch your favorite show or movie after a long day, and I know I will still choose to do this from time to time. But now, streaming the current season of a program seems like a treat or a reward. I’ve made TV such a rarity that now when I do flip on the screen, I feel like it’s because I deserve to, not because I’m just a lazy sack of you know what.

I spend my time focusing more on doing things that matter and that will help me be a better person all-around. I may not be up-to-date on what those trashy housewives are up to, but I could impress you by informing you on the current events from the past 48 hours. I can now utilize what little free time I do have by doing things I actually enjoy, like reading, and that will benefit me in the long run. Hulu and Netflix are no longer around to pressure me into hibernating in bed all night. If I want to come home and bake a loaf of banana bread, I can, because on-demand videos can’t holler my name anymore.

If you’re tired of feeling lethargic and want to seek more purpose in life, start by looking right in front of you (most literally if you’re reading this on a laptop.) Save yourself both the time and money by considering saying goodbye to your Hulu and Netflix accounts.

English and Journalism

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