Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Research Says...Blame Netflix

Way back on May 26, 2013, I blogged about the fact that I just signed up for Netflix Streaming and that it would kill my productivity. I made a big joke about it at the time. “Ha, ha! I’m not going to write as much as I used to,” I said. What a knee-slapper!

Well now, not quite six months later, it turns out that big joke has become reality. I’m spending all my spare time on Netflix instead of on writing and I have the research to back it up!

Between May 26th and today I’ve written twelve blog entries—including the one you are currently reading.  Each blog entry takes about 2 hours and 23 minutes for me to write. Using basic mathematics and a handheld calculator, I figured out that over the past six months I’ve spent about 28 hours and 36 minutes writing my blog. 

By contrast, during the same timeframe I used Netflix Streaming to watch 35 episodes of The Walking Dead, 28 episodes of Breaking Bad, 25 episodes of The IT Crowd, 15 episodes of Arrested Development, and 12 episodes of Psych. At 43 minutes, 47 minutes, 33 minutes, 24 minutes, and 43 minutes per episode respectively, that comes to a grand total of 73 hours and 52 minutes spent on Netflix. But that’s only the shows I watch regularly. If one were to factor in random episodes of The Twilight Zone, Family Guy, and Star Trek: The Next Generation (specifically the episode “Tapestry,” which I love, because we get to see what Jean-Luc Picard’s life would have been life if he were a nerdy scientist instead of a swashbuckling starship captain), as well as about 1.5 feature length movies per month, we can tack on approximately 20 more hours to my viewing total. That brings my grand total up to 93 hours and 52 minutes. This means I spend more than three times as much of my spare time streaming as I do writing. The bar graph below wonderfully illustrates this concept.

So what does all this mean?  Does it mean that I’m inherently lazy and/or easily distracted?  Does it mean that my creative muse has been hijacked by a technology company in Los Gatos, California?  Does it mean that I need to throw my laptop into the nearest ravine and start writing with pad and paper? No, no, no. I think it means I need to end this blog now so I can watch Season 3, Episode 9 of Breaking Bad so I could find out if Hank survives his gunshot wounds.