February 12, 2015
Dear Netflix and HBO Go,
We’re having a love-hate relationship at the moment, and I think it’s time we sit down and talk this through. Oh what do you know, I’m already sitting and thanks to you I have been for the last seven hours. That’s right. An entire day has passed and I haven’t left my couch, put a bra on, or even properly stalked my ex’s social media today.
Don’t play dumb - I’m on to your tactics and I’ll admit you’re a sneaky little fucker. The manipulation started slowly. After having no sensibility to actually watch a show when it airs on television, I was left hearing my friends rant about it for months. But they warned me about you. “It’s not a game, it’s serious stuff and you’ll end up sucked in without control, we don’t want to see you end up like us.” Well I don’t take advice I just give it, so I decide to take a peek, knowing I’m four seasons behind and will probably never finish it. I figured I would watch a few episodes, get the bug out of my system, and go back to my life of seeking out trouble and avoiding responsibilities. But your force was even stronger than that incredibly durable fugly paper bracelet I’m forced to wear at the bar, and I didn’t realize what I just got myself into.
I start the first episode and realize that without commercials, even the most ADHD of betches can’t help but focus and get emotionally invested. Not having to listen to ShamWow and depressing ASPCA commercials every ten minutes is a game changer. So I finish the first episode and realize the show is pretty great without interruptions and being able to finish it within a forty minute span makes me feel efficient. I call this the honeymoon phase where we’re happy, pleasantly surprised, and are hopeful for the future. You leave me on the edge of my seat with a fucking cliff hanger, and I’m a little offended. You know this wasn’t suppose to be a long term thing, and I fear you might be trying to suffocate me.
But then I see the small sign that you care about me, and are thinking about me and my feelings. You remind me that the next episode is available right now, and you’re even going to start playing it within the next ten seconds so I don’t have to get up. I debate getting up to go to the gym or wash my hair, but the little window on the bottom counting down the seconds makes me panic. I’m still in control, I can still walk away whenever I want, this is me choosing my fate. What do I do!? I could shut it off, but the last one only took 43 minutes and 33 seconds, and with no commercials it will go by fast and I just need to see what the main characters boyfriend is going to say and then I’ll pick it up another night. Three seconds left....
Well, it started and there is really no going back now. I start to make excuses for you. It’s just one more. And I don’t have anything THAT important to do. But this relationship quickly starts to spiral out of control and by episode five in a row I’m not ashamed of how many I’ve watched and I no longer have a concept of time. This is where things become foggy and the line between Netflix and reality become blurred. Have I eaten today? Did I shower? Was I suppose to meet my friends for lunch?
My homework isn’t getting done. My laundry is going untouched. My cabinets are bare with only the Ramen I keep in case of drunken emergencies, and my friend are starting to become concerned I haven’t answered the GroupMe. I lie to protect you, to make sure that my password privileges aren’t revoked because in reality I’ve been watching my best friend's ex-boyfriend's sister's fiance's account the whole time. When my friends ask what I’ve been doing, I explain work has been really stressful so I might stay in tonight to catch up on sleep. When they ask why I’m so tired and can’t come to the gym the next morning, I can’t admit it was because we stayed up until 3am in bed together wrapping up the sixth season and dipping into the seventh.
Eventually I can’t keep up with the lies and manipulation, and my friends and family start to catch on. They’re worried for my safety, my sanity, and my furniture since I’ve put a permanent dent in my spot on the couch. They tell me I’ve changed, that I’m a different person since you came into my life. My young and vibrant care free attitude that would go out any day of the week has been replaced with a homebody that will leave the bar early to go home and get caught up on the third season of my fourth show. After realizing I haven’t done anything worth Instagramming and that I’ve fallen out of my best friends Snapchat recents, because of you, I put my foot down and decide I must cut you out of my life. This won’t be easy, and I might relapse once or twice. But know that this is for the best, and that while our time together was short, I’ll never forget the impact you had on my life. My only hope is that your next victim has greater self control than I.
Netflix Binger Anonymous