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Addicted to the screen

With the availability of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and other social media platforms, a lot of people stay up late neglecting their sleep. NT KURIOCITY spoke to a few Goans to know what according to them is so addictive about these platforms

On returning from an exhausting work day, people crave for something different. They want to get into some mystical drama or enjoy some stand-up comedy or checkout what their friends have been doing. These platforms have been designed so as to keep users attracted by suggesting videos and posts according to the users’ tastes. A large number of employees work every day to design more efficient machine learning algorithms to do the same. Thus, I feel people are compelled to binge-watch and soon get addicted to them.

Ruturaj Godse, BITS Pilani, Goa

When I travel in the bus, I get so upset with my friend who I meet after a very long time. The reason being that instead of spending time with me she has her head bowed down towards the screen of her mobile phone. Social media addiction is one of the most common new age addictions gripping the minds of people across the globe. Social media is a boon if used in the right way, but it can become a bane if we are addicted to it. Many stay up surfing sites, watching series or posting their best pictures. This leads to various sleep disorders. Streaming services that put a shows entire season have increased the viewer’s susceptibility to binge-watching. As a way forward to avoid such addictions, the Addiction Centre in the US has recommended a simple precaution in the form of Digital detox, a period of time during which someone significantly reduces the time spent on electronic devices. This can include turning off sound notifications and only checking social media sites once every hour. Others include leaving the phone in a separate room at the night so as to not disturb sleep. This allows for restored focus on social interaction in the physical world and reduces dependency on networking sites.

Natasha Sequeira, Indian Nursing Education, Bambolim

Online streaming platforms have shows that give Indian consumers what they want and also attract consumers by various attractive offers. People who don’t own a television set or laptop can now see all the shows on their smartphones. These are inexpensive and have good marketing strategies to promote their platforms. This in turn has triggered a streak of addiction amongst young users who spend hours on these platforms. On the other side binge-watching on Netflix and other platforms for hours is not only draining our eyesight but also our health in a long run.

Shruti Govenkar, Agnel Institute of Technology and Design, Assagao

The relationship between the social media use and sleep is complex in nature. Researchers have been careful to note the relationship between social media because sleep is one of correlation, not causation. Many factors including social media-induced depression, internet addiction and stress can cause sleep problems. On an emotional level, social media is tied to depression and stress—two of the largest contributors to insomnia. Social media also disturbs sleep on a physical level. I am personally of the opinion that it’s the social glamour of the available streaming services which makes a lot of people neglect their sleep. Sensitive issues argued on social media can cause emotional, cognitive or physiological excitement among the people which may affect their sleep. Secondly, lack of time due to working hours may lead people to prioritise their time on social media at night, which can affect their sleep.

Suvidhya Dharwadkar, Parvatibai Chowgule College, Margao

Social media platforms and streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix are a great source of entertainment especially when I am bored. Since I am away from home and in a place where I have nothing much to do besides studying, I spend substantial amount of time on the internet. During the day I attend college but once I am back in the room I spend most of my time reading stuff on the internet. Back in Goa I’d hit the hay by 10 p.m. but here in Mumbai it’s difficult to fall asleep before 12 a.m. with so much happening around you. That’s when I watch videos to block out the noise and kill time. Overtime you tend to get used to this lifestyle and even if I try sleeping earlier than usual I end up falling asleep only at my usual time. One can get addicted to a web series to know what the next episode has got in store for the viewer. Similarly social media allows one to stay updated.

Sheras Fernandes, resident of Cansaulim living in Mumbai

The Fear of Missing out (FOMO) is prevalent in society and the same affects one’s social status. Also these series resemble the lifestyle of today’s youth. But it is very important for each and every one of us to prioritise our health. One should take at least get six to seven hours of sleep on a daily basis rather than spending nights watching episodes and keeping them as the only as mode of entertainment.

Shivani Nabar, Valpoi

With internet access on the go and social accessibility having improved over the last few years, it’s not hard to believe streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar have made the best use of this opportunity to target India. Shows like Sacred Games have portrayed how well Indian cinema can do on a global stage. The shows are instigative and addictive, making it difficult to watch just one episode at a time and from personal experience its 3 a.m. before you realise it. Instagram has also shown increased activity from being just an app for posting. It has even led to businesses using Instagram for branding and advertising. There are different types of pages on Instagram and there isn’t a barrier of choice as one can post whatever one wants to provided it falls under the Instagram community guidelines. There are different pages that cater to different audiences from love quotes to hilarious memes.

Zenus D’souza, Sridora Caculo College of Commerce & Management Studies, Mapusa

With internet services becoming cheaper, social media has become easily accessible. Business marketing has also been very easy on social media with large amounts of people accessing it. The main reason for addiction is the number of likes one get on their posts uploaded on social media platforms. Coming to streaming services, it’s like a continuous chain and you can’t skip any episode or else you are lost. The online industry itself tries to shape their product in such a way that you can’t do without it. So the key part is the story linked to it. If you don’t know what is happening on social media, you’re not connected to the world. Also, there will be other reasons for addiction, which depend on an individual and the way he/she adapts to it.

Yash Madkaikar, Agnel Institute of Technology and Design, Assagao

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