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Opportunist or groupie: what kind of Netflix binger are you?

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Anna Brech
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Netflix is an all-consuming obsession for many people, and the way we watch it says a lot about who we are. 

Whether you’re obsessed with The Witcher or addicted to The Crown, we all have a Netflix nemesis. It’s the kind of gripping, deliciously consumable show that’s oh-so good to watch. And yet, it also keeps you up well into the early hours and, – more often than not – sees you turn down invites left, right and centre: all in the name of one more episode. 

In fact, so strong is our collective passion for Netflix, research by the streaming service found that 67% of people are happy to watch shows in public. Of these, 37% admitted to tuning into Netflix at work, 27% said they binge-watched while waiting in line and 12% even used public toilets to do so (now we know why the queue for the ladies is so long).

Clearly, on-demand TV is a dominant compulsion of the modern age. And, like all compelling habits, the way that we engage with it reveals a surprising amount about who we are. 

As we gulp down the final episode of Gilmore Girls or sit transfixed amid the blood and tears of Orange Is The New Black we also offer up a glimmer into our souls. The very way that we choose to consume such shows makes a statement about who we are, and how we behave.

So, what do your Netflix habits say about you? Read on for a (highly scientific) interpretation…

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The binge racer

Binge racers are fully committed to the cause

A binge racer is the official term coined by Netflix for those who indulge in 24 hours of uninterrupted TV-watching. Not for you the flakiness of binge-watching in public. You need an open avenue of focus and concentration: a free day, or even a weekend, on which to let loose your obsession. In the unlikely event it’s sunny outside, you’ll close the curtains and devote your entire being to chomping through a series within a day of it hitting the platform.

What does it say about you?

You’re impulsive, and love to live in the moment. Why wait for tomorrow for the next episode of Stranger Things when you could have it right now? You have laser-like powers of focus, and will sacrifice anything to achieve your goals. Friends, dates, cooking, clean pants: all fall by the wayside in your quest to finish the brand-new series of Master of None. Once you pop, you just can’t stop and your insatiable appetite for Netflix – and probably life in general – knows no bounds. Being first is important to you and you likely don’t deal well with failure.

Takeaway advice

Your tunnel-vision approach to life is admirable: you really know how to get things done. On the other hand, it can also be exhausting, and may open you up to accusations of selfishness. Try to hold back a little to prevent your maximalist attitude spiralling out of control. You could even (shock, horror) stagger a Netflix series the next time one is released to avoid the inevitable crash and burn.

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The opportunist

Opportunists can catch a show wherever they happen to be

Gym, bog and work-watchers: this one’s for you. You’re extremely canny in eeking out every last minute of your time to catch up on your favourite series. You don’t mind dipping in and out of episodes: to you, the end goal is more important. You’re also adept at multi-tasking. Whether you’re on a train or on a treadmill – or even waiting to deliver a presentation at work – you make the most of every spare minute to land your Netflix hit. 

What it says about you

You’re tenacious and entrepreneurial, with a can-do attitude to life. You excel at creative thinking: a small thing like having a job would never stand in the way of you and your screen date. If there’s a solution, you’ll bide your time and find it, often balancing a multitude of other demands along the way. You also possess a fair amount of gall, and you probably delight in the thrill of a challenge. Annoying your boss or distracting people isn’t the embarrassment it would be to others; you’ll take it on the chin in pursuit of your dreams, Netflix-related or beyond.

Takeaway advice

Your skill for juggling is all well and good. But, sooner or later, the balls have to come tumbling down. You might miss a subtle yet vital part of the plot in a complex series like The Killing. You might get hauled up by your boss, or fall over on the treadmill. While your spirit of enterprise is to be applauded, perhaps it’s time to simplify things. Focus on one activity a time and really give yourself space in order to enjoy life’s many rich offerings (Netflix is head of this list, obviously).

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The disciplinarian 

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Guzzling through a series in one sitting is anathema to you. You literally couldn’t think of anything worse: it makes you shudder with revulsion. Instead, you consume your Netflix helpings in strictly designated time slots. There’s no over-eating or binge-watch hangovers. You purge with the willpower of an Olympian athlete before allowing yourself just enough Netflix to keep yourself  performing to the max. But not too much. And certainly not more than one episode at a time.

What it says about you

Your steely nerves and sense of self-restraint serve you well in life, whether you’re tackling a work deadline or dragging the suspense of Ozark out around 10 weeks longer than anyone else. You’re not easily influenced by others, instead preferring to stick to your own (carefully-mapped out) agenda. Your iron will and almost superhuman reserves of self-possession ensure you thrive at whatever you turn your hand to. Perhaps you have a natural aversion to emotion, and don’t like to show your feelings too much. Instead of cheering on the ladies of Glow, or sobbing to The Crown, you quietly keep your own counsel.

Takeaway advice

If only more people possessed your kind of self-control, the world would be a better place. Be careful, though, that your sense of autonomy doesn’t cut you off from other people. Such unusual levels of self-discipline can come across as smug or unfeeling. It might be wise to let loose a little on occasion. Live a little, throw caution to the wind. Maybe even watch three episodes of Arrested Development all at once. We dare you.

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The groupie

Watching Netflix together
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You’re one of those rare creatures who actually enjoy watching Netflix with other people. Crazy, we know. Instead of lying for hours with just a glowing screen for company, you open things out to be welcoming and inclusive. You love nothing better than collective guffawing at Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt amid a chorus line of at least five other mates/lovers/relatives. It’s a pack mentality; you weep together and angrily yell together, too. The idea of Netflixing solo is alien to you: you’d just feel so… alone.

What it says about you

Naturally open and gregarious, you wear your heart on your sleeve. You don’t bother hiding your feelings, and you likely wouldn’t be able to, even if you tried. Other people are drawn to you like moths to a flame and life is one long frat party. Watching Netflix is a group experience; without the structure of friends to bounce off, you’d be an empty husk of a person. Not that you care, because you’d simply never be alone. You’re emotionally intelligent, involved and aware: always swimming in a forward direction with your squad right beside you. 

Takeaway advice

You’re a truly warm person to be around; others need you as much as you need them. But the lights have to come up on the party at some point. And remember, when they do, you have a valuable opportunity for self-growth and development. Being alone teaches us important things, such as resilience and awareness. So the next time you tune into New Girl, try doing so by yourself. You never know, you might even enjoy it.

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The boom-or-buster

Boom-or-busters aren't afraid of change

You’re very much an all or nothing type of Netflix viewer. You might not watch anything for months on end, happily enjoying the zen of an off-screen life. And then – boom! – you’re sucked into a new season of You, and it’s all you can talk or think about for the next two weeks. Nearly every other activity – work, gym, an actual life – are put on the backburner as you give your full, unflinching attention to the Netflix obsession du jour. Your flatmate or partner might join you in your marathon, but frankly their presence is irrelevant: it’s all about the show. And then, once you’re done, you snap back into ordinary life again: flying TV-free for a while. 

What it says about you

You’re a passionate and impulsive sort who puts 100% into everything you tackle. You’re also likely to be quite creative: you relish the ebb and flow of life, and find your energy by changing things up; whether that’s by travelling the world or diving headfirst into a new habit. You get bored easily and your need for constant stimulation means you shy away from routines. You’re also very disciplined and committed: once you’ve decided to do something, you follow through without a second thought.

Takeaway advice

Your passion for life should be commended: few people have the courage to change direction on a whim like you do. But your constant impulse to swap gears may leave you feeling wrung out and tired. A little bit of moderation is always a good thing, so try bringing your habits (TV and beyond) onto more of an even keel. This will lead to that sense of calm and groundedness you probably never even knew you needed.

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Author

Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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