Sunday, Dec 08, 2019 | Last Update : 01:56 AM IST

Just one more episode?

THE ASIAN AGE. | MALVIKA RAMESH
Published : Jul 24, 2019, 12:11 am IST
Updated : Jul 24, 2019, 12:11 am IST

Today, the content available is far more addictive than ever before, causing Internet addiction amongst millennials.

A still from ‘The Big Bang Theory’
 A still from ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Psychologists say that people who grew up within the last decade face more mental stress than that of any of the previous generations. And surprisingly, according to the studies, this mental illness is said to be caused due to the lack of sleep resulting from the high amount of time spent by this generation on streaming movies, TVshows, sports, listening to music or playing games, from OTT (over the top) media services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Spotify, YouTube, etc as well as various apps. Since teens to young professionals are pre-occupied with either college or work during the day hours, the only time their addiction kicks in, is during the nights; which mean that they get only 20 percent of the required sound sleep.

Thus, the time slot in which they are supposed to give their body and mind to rest is being used at an excessive rate.

Akshay Kashyap, a student of Manipal Institute of Technology, admits, “I think that I am addicted to watching stuff online, be it movies or TV shows or even just videos of random things. During the nights, I am up doing this until about four am and then I sleep for about four hours, wakeup and head out to college.”

Talking about his addiction, he continues saying, “I know it’s bad because it has completely ruined my sleep cycle and throughout the day, I am drained out. I want to stop, or at the most get my sleep on track but the content just keeps you hooked.”

While, some millennials are aware of their addiction, others believe that the content they watch on the Internet, is more of a learning experience and that it is not “that big of adeal”, since it dependsfrom one person to another. Like Bengaluru-based Jyothsna Venkatesh, who believes, “I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s just the way our generation is growing up. Previously, our elders had other things that kept them awake.For us, it’s technology. In fact, I think it educates me. I have learnt somuch, watching things online!”

While, millennials are battling out their opinions amongst one another, medical experts stand by their stance about OTT media services and why it is medically necessary to get a good amount of sleep. Debjani Chatterjee, a psychologist working at Central Test, an online psychometric assessment publishing organisation, says, “Your brain has a certain capacity to work, and it needs the rest andneeds to work only at a specific period of time. When you are sleeping, the brain gets to rest after the day’s work.It needs to get this recharge regularly.”

A scene from ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’A scene from ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’

Further talking about sleep disorders caused by these websites she says, “What happens when youwatch content online is that your brain is receiving a lot of information that it needs to process. Theprocessing happens when you sleep, and if you sleep less, the brain processes less, leading to a burnout. The next thing you know, you have psychosomatic disorders in the form of digestive problems,asthma, migraines and mental distress.”

What you might now wonder is, does staying awake and reading books have the same effect on thebrain as well? The answer is no. The reason it is completely different is because when you arereading a book, your imagination works, which means that your brain is reciprocating constantly.But, on the other hand, while streaming a video online or listening to music, you are mindlessly givingyour brain content and excess of anything is bad.

Yes, the Sacred GamesSeason 2 trailer on Netflix may make you want to binge watch the series, Spotifymight tempt you to explore new genres of music, Hotstar might have you glued to the jaw-dropping ICC finals, but doctors recommend that you to do so wisely.Know your limits and keepit sane, they say. Binge-watching might be worth it to avoid the spoilers on social media, but it’s not worth losingyour mental status over, they advise.

Tags: psychologists, tv shows, amazon prime