Not too long ago, the Wall Street Journal published an article about the idea that Netflix may be to blame for the falling fertility rate in the US. Ummm….
Well, apparently, we as a people are less interested in sex because there’s so much Schitt’s Creek to watch???
WSJ conducted a survey for the story, which showed that an incredible 25 percent of respondents have declined sex in favor of binge-watching a show in the last six months.
The problem arises particularly from streaming services; back when regular tv ruled mass entertainment, you could only watch one episode at a time, and each episode was filled with commercial breaks. The reward part of your brain wasn’t nearly so activated.
“Now, if you’re watching something streaming, the next episode is immediately available, and there are no commercials where you could look over and say, ‘Honey, you look cute tonight,'” explained Jean Twenge, Ph.D., who authored a 2017 study on the topic.
While it is true that Americans are having fewer babies than ever before in history, it’s not entirely clear that Netflix is playing a direct role in the phenomenon. Technology in general, maybe (and like, a thousand other major societal factors). For every couple binging Netflix, there’s another couple scrolling through social media in bed.
“There has never been a time you could feel more alone with your partner right next to you,” clinical psychologist Dr. Megan Fleming said.
Netflix commented on the study to deny that they’re contributing to the lack of American babies.
“We take pride in being part of the cultural zeitgeist, but getting credit for a decadeslong decline in sex is beyond even our programming abilities,” a spokesperson said.
That’s ok, Netflix spokesperson. It’s good to have goals.