I Tried… Giving Up Netflix for a Week

Faith Gates challenged herself to go a week without Netflix.

I take the phrase “Netflix and chill” very literally, in that my favorite thing to do — and I know it’s secretly yours, too — is to watch Netflix and relax. So when I willingly gave up Netflix for a week to write about my experience, I discovered many things.

Sunday — The first day was not a problem! I spent the day with friends and doing work. I thought this would be the easiest day of the week. Of course I didn’t have an addiction to Netflix!

Monday — My day of classes, work and homework proved equally easy. It wasn’t until I went to bed that I craved Netflix. I couldn’t sleep. I had become so accustomed to having something distract me as I fell asleep that my brain didn’t know what to do besides torture me. Since it was midterms week, I took the nerdy approach and decided to fall asleep listening to my teacher’s lectures. Hearing my professor’s voice drone on about biology was certainly not as entertaining as another episode of “Friends.”

Tuesday — Being at school and doing work again provided an easy distraction, but this time the temptation struck earlier than bedtime. Instead of food, I started craving Netflix at dinner time. I live alone, so my meal times usually consist of eating and, of course, watching “Friends.” As I got over my temptation and looked for something to distract myself with, I came to my second realization: my walls are an off-white shade. Yes, I stared at my wall while I ate, and found that I ate much more quickly.

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Wednesday — Fortunately and unfortunately, Wednesday was a day of no temptation, as it was full of studying for my multiple midterms the next day.

Thursday — The fateful day of midterms and work. It was all a blur, and when I finally got home, it was time to “treat yo self.” Well, myself. How do you treat yourself with no Netflix and no energy to go out? I ordered food, but it wasn’t enough, so I powered up my Netflix app. I hadn’t even gotten through the first five minutes of my “Gilmore Girls” episode before the gods of WSN heard me and the storm struck down the Wi-Fi in my building. Of course, this would happen. The only way to “treat yo self” now was to get over eight hours of sleep. Lame.

Friday — At this point I knew I was weak to temptation, so I kept myself busy with work and friends throughout the day. I wasn’t tempted until my friend said “Want to watch Netflix while we eat?” Seeing as I didn’t want to be rude, I consented. I know, I cheated! But only a little.

Saturday and Sunday — The Halloweekend festivities kept me temptation free.

After a week of resisting temptation, I learned how much Netflix is a part of me and a part of all of us. Netflix is like a soothing bedtime story. It distracts our brains from the many things they want to think about at bedtime. It relieves us at the end of the tough day we’ve had. It helps us to eat slower and not get annoyed at our own chewing, while giving us something to do with friends that we can bond over. I thought this challenge was going to teach me to choose homework over Netflix, and while that was true for a week, I believe everything is good in moderation. Netflix can be a treat.

Email Faith Gates at [email protected]

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