Netflix. We all use it (if you don’t, you may not be a real person), and we all love it (see previous parenthesis).
But how has Netflix changed the way that college students watch TV?
Well, to begin, it allows them to actually stay current with their favorite shows. Let’s go back a few years to when my father went to Gannon University. He often tells stories of how he has no idea what shows were on in the years he went to school. This is not because he didn’t care, but because there was no opportunity to watch TV! College students are busy enough, and catching a show during the specific weekly time slot is a near impossibility.
But now, thanks to the glorious savior known as the interwebs, we can watch all the episodes of “The Walking Dead” we want! In fact, this has led to a new phenomenon known as “binge watching.”
The FDA has warned that binge watching is far more dangerous than binge drinking. [Note: The FDA never said this.] But this newfound reality of multimedia has allowed students to watch not just one episode, but entire seasons of a specific show in one sitting!
Just think for a second about how this changes TV as we know it.
People used to have to watch one episode at a time, with new episodes out weekly. This often led to interesting shows not picking up the traction they deserved because there wasn’t time to catch up if you missed the first half-season!
However, that all has changed. Didn’t see any episodes of “Breaking Bad,” but want to watch the final season? No worries, you can catch up on Walt and Walt Jr. within a week or so – if you don’t eat, sleep or go to class. Need to learn what Don Draper does in season two of “Mad Men?” No worries, it’s all right there for you at the click of a button.
And now, Netflix is offering original programming! According to IMDb, “House of Cards” is the most popular TV show in the world right now. Here’s the catch: “House of Cards” is on Netflix only. NETFLIX ONLY. You can’t watch it on your normal TV, and all the episodes were released at once! This has changed the game for TV in general and I’m expecting more. (Looking at you, “Arrested Development.”)
All in all, this can only mean good things for college students. Internet streaming systems will only get better and better. And as Francis Underwood (a la “House of Cards”) would say, “You may very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.”