There are a number of telltale signs that you’re caught in a full-fledged Netflix-induced binge watch. If your sheets start to smell the way Steve Bannon looks, or your significant other files a missing persons report, or you’re missing your parents’ wedding anniversary because you’re on your way to the backwaters of Missouri for the Ozark reality tour, you might want to rethink your streaming habits.
And because Netflix is fully aware that it might be singlehandedly responsible for the decline of productivity in America, the company’s engineers are toying with a tool that tracks just how addicted to its service you really are. At the streaming giant’s bi-annual Hack Day, where engineers unveil playful moonshot ideas that may never actually be implemented, “Binge Mode” was the standout among inventions that included a Netflix vending machine and something called Netflix Audio Book Mode.
The reason Binge Mode stood out as more than just a flight of fancy is because it might actually have real world implications. By showing the progress and scope of a binge watch using a combination of bars, bubbles and timers, it could potentially make users aware that they’re in the midst of wasting a day away. When you’re completely engrossed in the exploits of Walter White, it’s easy to forget that your dog needs to be fed and the garbage needs to be taken out.
And with Netflix complicit in the rise of bingeing thanks to the seductive “play the next episode” button that appears as soon as the end credits of an episode rolls, shouldn’t it be the company’s responsibility to help curb the downfall of modern civilization? Netflix refused to say whether or not Binge Mode will ever be implemented, but because its entire revenue model is based on how much we watch its content, it’s unlikely. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have an episode of GLOW to get back to.