As a college student, I’m never happier than when I don’t have classes. Spring break was a week long departure from my classes and responsibilities that I fully relished in. Many of my peers and friends set about traveling to Disneyland, southern Utah, or just going outside. I, however, had different plans. An entire week without roommates or distractions?!? Can you say PRODUCTIVE?!?!
And that is what I genuinely hoped I would have; some semblance of productivity. I wanted to work on the website, do some freelance work, read a few books, and not gain 10 lbs from eating out. Well, sadly this was not the case, except for the 10 lbs, which was more like four.
The culprit, and cause of my new love affair with sweatpants: Netflix.
While I don’t think it’s entirely fair to blame Netflix for all of my problems, I think it’s certainly fair to say my good friend has played its part in stopping me from #SharingGoodness by constantly #StreamingGoodness.
My hopes to write any content that might be used to lift and support others or otherwise hasten the work were greatly diminished when I realized every episode of Gilmore Girls was on. Instead of writing a great faith-promoting post, I watched four seasons of hour long episodes in one week.
Netflix is a supernal creation that feeds attention deficient millennials, babysits kids, and stoppers up the process of reflection and contemplation. In place of taking time to read, ponder, and pray, I instead press play, play and “yes I’m still watching”. Instead of going out to the locally owned burger and pie-shake parlor to get a pie-shake and fries with friends, it’s easier to stay home with Netflix and Hulu. Tacky dates of yesteryear may have included mini golf, but now include binge watching “How I Met Your Mother”, something these relationships will likely never progress to. In place of teaching children math or reading skills, we hand them an iPad with Dora or Jake the Pirate streaming and watch our own shows while they do their thing.
The access we have to nearly unlimited, binge-worthy content is a clear hinderance to our effort to hasten the work. Our relationships suffer, our children suffer, and our faith suffers. If I was able to devote nearly four seasons worth of 40 minute long episodes in 20+ episode seasons to Netflix, how can I ever give the Lord more?
The work of salvation is being hastened. More and more is being asked of members and missionaries alike as we look to take the gospel further and more fully to more places around the earth. As the work hastens, so do the distractions. My advice would be for the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to take a hard look at themselves and their streaming habits, and determine how much of their God-given time they are willing to give back to God during these important times.