How Getting Into Podcasts Can Help Kick Your Netflix Addiction

Being entertained and being productive are not mutually exclusive.
kick your netflix addiction with podcasts
Kick your Netflix addiction with podcasts

With every app on your phone, computer, and TV competing for your undivided attention, it is important to mitigate your “screen time” in a way that is conducive to a healthy lifestyle. The type of content you consume on a daily basis can be a determining factor in whether you spend 8 hours on the couch or maintain a healthy work-life balance.

In a time when the pandemic has made technology an even bigger part of our lives, many are finding that the number of hours they spend in front of the TV or with their neck crooked over their iPhone is dramatically increasing. While an increase in media intake may be unavoidable until the pandemic is fully behind us, some forms of entertainment are healthier than others.

“Netflix Addiction,” among addictions to other streaming services, is becoming increasingly problematic in a post-pandemic society.

The Dangers of “Binge-Watching”

For any given streaming service, their metric of success is how long they can keep you—the viewer—engaged with their app, and thus continuously subscribed. The “weekly episode” format that television shows adhered to since their inception has been all but entirely replaced by the new trend; digitally releasing an entire season at once. Nowadays we are accustomed to long-form content, and the ability to “binge-watch” it if we so choose.

Television entered its “Golden Age” back in the 90s, and early 2000s, with shows like “The Sopranos” and “The Wire.”  Although as the ads so vehemently reminded us, this was HBO, premium cable, not simple “TV.” But it only took a few more seasons before high-brow, cinema-quality content was being broadcasted on basic cable, notably on “AMC” with shows like “Breaking Bad” and “Mad-Men.” These shows did away with the serialized episodes that could be viewed out of order, those with no continuous plot to follow.

As television graduated from the sitcom on to long-form storytelling, box sets appeared on shelves, and marathons ran on cable—eventually, Netflix would come along and give us 12 hours of a well-developed television show, an entire season, just one click away. Along came Amazon, Apple, and Hulu competing in the same space.

Suddenly, there was a way to disappear into a story for an entire day or more, with no drought of content once you finished watching the entirety of a given show—the app always has another suggestion. Storytelling, whether by a campfire, in a theater, or in front of a TV, is an integral part of all the world’s cultures.

But only recently with long-form television shows, aired utilizing new technology on streaming services, has entertainment ever taken up such a large part of our lives.

Algorithms and Addiction

Every time you browse through Netflix-- whether you skip a show, watch the trailer, or decide to try the first episode, the app learns a little bit more about your viewing habits—leading to a stronger likelihood that you will be engaged with its suggested content.

What first appears as a convenient, user-friendly feature is quite insidious under some scrutiny. This change in viewing format and algorithmic harvesting of user data has given way to new, unhealthy habits surrounding media consumption.

If you are struggling with Netflix addiction, want to cut down on binge-watching, or simply want to add some value to your screen time by way of multitasking, getting into podcasts is an excellent alternative to watching videos. Listening to podcasts is a great way to stay entertained and informed while taking care of errands, exercising, and commuting to and from work.

A Podcast for Everyone 

Many of the popular genres on streaming platforms have their analogs in the world of podcasting. Fans of comedic sitcoms will undoubtedly enjoy podcasts hosted by comedians, while fans of dramatic crime shows will be right at home with the slew of true-crime podcasts that are currently topping the iTunes charts.

There are even podcasts that discuss your favorite movies and TV shows if Netflix and Hulu are really all you can think about. No matter the niche or how narrow the special interest, there is a podcast about it somewhere on iTunes or Spotify.  

Image Courtesy of The Joe Rogan Experience 

Podcasts, like shows on streaming services, are presented as long-form, episodic content that you can easily watch or listen to one episode after the next. The potential for binging podcasts totally exists, but it is the ability to multitask while listening to a podcast that leads to healthier habits—even if you fall into a media marathon. Some popular podcasts, like “The Joe Rogan Experience” boast 3-hour long episodes, with multiple new episodes per week. Just like Netflix shows, these podcasts are designed to take up a lot of your time. But Joe Rogan, a fitness and MMA expert, understands that there is a huge audience of people that need something to entertain them while they are in the gym.  

The key distinction is that podcasts are designed to be supplemental to your day, rather than the all-encompassing time-sink that scrolling through Netflix can often be. Whether you are exercising, commuting, cooking, cleaning, or even working, you can also be learning and laughing while you labor. Before long, binging the latest show on Netflix will seem less appealing than tackling the day with a pair of headphones and a podcast in your ears.

For those just getting into podcasts, or multitasking for that matter, here are some suggestions:

Check out the latest episode from “The Joe Rogan Experience” the next time you are in the gym. Rogan’s MMA expertise, work ethic regarding fitness as well as art, and his ability to keep his finger on the pulse of current events make for intriguing and often inspiring listens.

If you are dreading cleaning your house, throw on a pair of headphones and listen to Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitzky on “Your Mom’s House.” Because why not listen to toilet humor while you literally scrub a toilet?

While you are prepping your next meal, check out “Something’s Burning” with Bert Kreischer or “Breaking Bread with Tom Papa.” These cooking shows, hosted by comedians, are full of tips for your next recipe and are sure to crack a smile.

Writer, Investment Counselor, Pop-Culture aficionado

No Saves yet. Share it with your friends.

Write Your Diary

Get Free Access To Our Publishing Resources

Independent creators, thought-leaders, experts and individuals with unique perspectives use our free publishing tools to express themselves and create new ideas.

Start Writing