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The Five Stages of Your Netflix Addiction

Hi, my name is __________, and I’m addicted to Netflix.

In April, Netflix was approaching nearly 50 million global subscribers. By August, they passed 50 million, with 35 percent of their viewers living in the United States. Why does this matter? Because no matter how fun and carefree Netflix looks from the outside, there is a deep rabbit hole lurking right under the surface. Take this chance to diagnose yourself with any of these stages of Netflix addiction.


Stage One

If you have stage one addiction, that means you probably just registered for Netflix and maybe have clicked around the website. You’re enjoying the fact that, to your surprise, there are hundreds of options to choose from. You’re thinking to yourself, “I can watch a movie on demand, any day I want? This is awesome! Maybe I’ll watch one of these movies on a rainy weekend. Or maybe over the holidays.” Your downfall: You just stepped into a world of dangerous procrastination. You are naive, but you will learn soon.

What we suggest for stage one Netflix addicts: Forrest Gump, Mean Girls, Grease

Stage Two

Now you’ve discovered that a couple of your favorite television shows are online. You’re thinking, “Wow, I can pick my favorite How I Met Your Mother episode without having to watch a day-long marathon on Lifetime? Great! I’ll just watch one episode before bed tonight.” Stage two addicts are still able to get all of their work done during the week, but may consider staying up an extra half hour before they go to bed.

What we suggest for stage two addicts: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Office, Ugly Betty

Stage Three

You’re starting to rely on Netflix for avoiding any sort of work. You may find yourself thinking, “Two more episodes, and then I’ll think about starting my paper” or “Well, there are only three more episodes in this season, I can fit that in before class.” The addiction is starting to take a small toll on your social life. Your friends are wondering why you don’t go out on Friday nights anymore. Little do they know, you’ve found Netflix.

What we suggest for stage three addicts: House Hunters, Say Yes to the Dress, The Carrie Diaries

Stage Four

I call this the discovery stage. You are now practically an expert on maneuvering the website, so now you want to explore. You quickly find a whole new genre of TV shows you never even considered watching! With hundreds of new and exciting shows and movies to choose from, you’ll never be bored again. You’ve watched so many restaurant documentaries that you feel you could probably start up your own, no problem. And you’re clearly a well-trained chef with all those Food Network shows you’ve been watching. However, beware: this stage is dangerous. Although it may seem fun and even enlightening with all your newly acquired knowledge, this is your last chance to break the cycle before you became a full-fledged Netflix addict.

What we suggest for stage four addicts: Cupcake Wars, Inside Chipotle

Stage Five

You’ve completely fallen off the map. You may even be spiraling out of control.  Friends seem pointless now because all you really need in your life is Netflix. You spend your time watching full seasons of shows at a time. You are constantly walking around sleep deprived because you were up all night re-watching Gossip Girl, for the fourth time. Homework? No time for that. But luckily, you watched a few documentaries this week so you feel like you’ve got all the education you need. You’ve reached the bottom of the pit and the chances of recovery are slim. The only thing you can hope for is the new season of Orange is the New Black, which you will, of course, watch in one sitting.

What we suggest for stage five addicts: One Tree Hill, Gilmore Girls, The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy, Orange is the New Black


What stage of Netflix addiction are you at? Don’t be ashamed, we’ve all been there.

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Julia Saxton


Julia is a senior at the University of Cincinnati and studies communication, psychology, and sociology. She has a passion for writing and is very excited to be a part of the Her Campus Cincinnati chapter! Other than Her Campus, Julia is also inolved with the UC Career Development Center and works at a YMCA as a swim coach. 
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