This surprised me. Who knew there was such a thing as too much Netflix?! I mean, Netflix binge watching is what everyone lives for. The general consensus of life is, “I just want to go home and binge watch Netflix” (those guys must be making a killing).
My husband and I, too, love a good Netflix binge-watch session. We powered through Doctor Who (Doctors 9-11), and it’s very easy to watch Parks and Recreation for hours. Thing is, we stopped talking. We didn’t become mute or anything, I talk my way through any on-screen media, as anyone will tell you (and some with a complaining vibe). We still talked, but we didn’t say anything. There was no give-and-take like there used to be. There was no sitting on the couch for hours deliberating life together, dreaming, devising, disagreeing, discussing. We had become Netflix zombies. Every day hubby would come home, we’d get dinner and crash on the couch for 2-6 hours (yes, that long – yuck!). There would be occasions where I would get restless and want to go on a walk, or play a game, but I always lost the battle to David Tennant. Who does not lose the battle to David Tennant??? I mean,
. . . See? You can’t win.
Then one fateful night we didn’t watch Netflix. A strange thing happened. We talked. Like we used to. It was glorious. Oh, that’s why I married him! I remember now, because I like him as a person. I had forgotten. That night we resolved to limit our tv time. We try to stick to 45-ish minutes worth of show time, or one movie (I can’t even do an entire movie anymore, it’s too long) per day. So far it’s going pretty well. Tiny is a good indicator of when we’ve let the tv run too long; she gets fussy when we inadvertently stop paying attention to her for more than about 15 minutes (often less than that). There are evenings where, after Tiny is in bed, we do spend more than 45 minutes camped out on the couch, but those days are becoming fewer.
Maybe one day we will limit our screen time even more. Maybe (but not likely) one day we’ll be screen-free and spend all our spare time out in our back yard, playing games, or reading books. For now these are the steps we’ve taken to preserve our relationship.
What do you think? Is your family screen-free? How does TV or Netflix affect your relationships? Do you find it detrimental, or does it bring you together as a family?