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Breaking Up With Netflix

If Netflix is holding you back from your school work and social life, it may be time to break up. Here's how to say goodbye.

Photo via Popkey

Take a deep breath. You’re not alone in this. This is a big step, and I know it’s difficult to break up after such a passionate relationship. You’ve poured so much of yourself, your time, your tears, your laughter into this…but I can help you! I did the same thing not too long ago.

If your grades are suffering, you’ve given up on your favorite hobby, or you’ve become a pro procrastinator, it may be time to break up with Netflix. Here are some simple tips to make saying goodbye a little easier.

Write a letter

Okay, I know all those self-help blogs have told you it’s best to break up in person, but you know what will happen if you do that. Netflix never listens to what you want, and it always draws you in no matter how much you try to resist. “Just one more episode” and you might as well dig your GPA’s grave.

That’s one of the reasons you want to break up, remember? Netflix is a lying, manipulative, selfish jerk. Its one goal in life is to keep you all to itself. Your best friend still hasn’t forgiven you for missing her birthday dinner, and your first-choice internship refused to extend the application deadline for you, all because you were too wrapped up in TV land.

So, whip out a pen and paper—wait, wrong century! Open up a note on your phone and get typing.

Dear Netflix…

Acknowledge the good times

Yes, Netflix’s selfishness has put you in terrible binds. What you thought would be a 20-minute break turned into a five-hour time machine. Or maybe you’ve stumbled out of a cliffhanger unable to function because your favorite character just died. Sometimes that time vacuum was exactly the catharsis you needed to erase reality for a while. Netflix was always there for you—it never judged that you could recite every line of Ella Enchanted from memory or when you found yourself buried in tissues while binge-watching Grand Hotel (sorry, I watch obscure shows. At least, I used to…). Netflix supported your friendships and even put up with that date you brought to watch a movie!

First, I want to thank you for always being there for me…

Be firm

But don’t get caught up in reminiscing! Yes, there were good times. But you have to be firm. This is the most difficult, radical change you will make in your life, but it will be worth it. You can feel that certainty wiggling in your gut. This is something you have to see through to the end.

Tell Netflix just why you’re ending things. Yes, it was there when you needed to get away, but it was also there when you absolutely shouldn’t get away. It was Netflix who made avoiding your favorite hobby so easy. I’ll set up my easel, after I watch this movie. I’ll finally water my garden after this season is over.

But it was you who kept me from pursuing my dreams. And my dreams are worth fighting for, even if it means never seeing you again. 

Say goodbye

Maybe one day you and Netflix can be “just friends,” where you two get together every once in a while to actually watch only one episode. But for now, it’s goodbye forever. You will never get over the breakup if you still call Netflix every midnight. Nothing will have changed, and you’ll still be the sleep-deprived, procrastinating person you are now.

Goodbye forever.

The aftermath

Do you feel that? That expansion in your chest? The tingling in your toes? You’re free! Time to party! No, no, put the Ben & Jerry’s back. Don’t you see? You have something better than ice cream (though that’s hard to believe, I know): you have time. Time to go after that dream boiling under your skin, that passion that makes you come alive.

Remember that birthday party you missed? And those internships you were applying for? Go apologize. Go apply! Pick up your crochet hook, pack your climbing gear, dust off your telescope—heck, find a pond to do underwater basket weaving. Whatever your passion is, go fulfill it. You have plenty of time now!

When you’re tempted to take Netflix back

Yes, you are free. But maybe that expansion in your chest is really emptiness. Maybe the tingling in your toes is actually loss. And with so much time…your thoughts get so loud sometimes! You’ll reach a point when all you want to do is take Netflix back. But before you do, ask yourself one thing: did it truly make you happy? If yes, then go ahead. Get back together, but take it slow. Make time for your school work, hobbies, family, and friends too. Just don’t let Netflix take over your life—that’s not a healthy relationship.

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funny Netflix procrastination student life

About Mariel Ortega

Mariel is a Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences major (a true mouthful) from San Antonio, Texas. But more importantly, she is the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2021. From the time she first went birding (yes, that’s a word) with cardboard “camouflage” to doing mad-sciencey things, Mariel’s amassed quite the arsenal of bird facts. (Did you know a peacock is actually a male peafowl?) Her goal is to change the world one person at a time—or more likely, one bird at a time.


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