Kaunda Selisho

By Kaunda Selisho


Opinion: Am I the only one suffering from Netflix user fatigue?

With an unprecedented 1 026 new episodes and 159 original and exclusive shows in just three months, Netflix is doing far too much.

This morning, I woke to an email notifying me that my Netflix account had been placed on hold with the subject line “Miss us? We miss you”. So I began to wonder if I miss having access to the streaming platform and quite frankly, I do not.

You see, I feel as though I had begun to suffer from what I call Netflix fatigue which I can only liken to the feeling that most people are feeling now as the end of yet another year approaches. 

Why I decided to end my Netflix subscription

One of the earliest tell-tale signs of my Netflix fatigue was my lack of interest in all the new releases and this year, there were a lot of those. 

According to a report from Moffet Nathanson published just last month, the streaming service premiered an unprecedented 1 026 new episodes and 159 original and exclusive shows between July and September of this year. 

By comparison, Prime Video and Hulu released 223 and 194 episodes, respectively, Disney+ launched 140 original episodes, and 114 episodes were premiered by HBO Max.

And that’s just on the global market. 

In South Africa, Netflix is not only fighting for my very limited money but also my attention and it is up against the likes of traditional free-to-air television which continues to air some interesting (and local) shows and movies, as well as streaming rivals Showmax, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Viu, eVOD and Apple TV to name a few. All of which I also struggle to keep up with.

My history with Netflix

My decision to cut ties with the platform isn’t necessarily fueled by anything negative. You see, as an entertainment journalist, I was present for Netflix’s launch on the continent and I continue to remain interested not just in the content the platform produces but in the business moves they are making as well.

I attended the local launch event for the platform long before they even had a local office and plans to invest as much as they have, not only in South Africa but the continent as a whole.

For the event, the Netflix team had rented out a cool home somewhere in Joburg and decorated each room to look like a set from some of the most popular shows on the platform at the time. 

Because of the amazing decor, the very first show I watched on Netflix was Stranger Things and now, all these years later, I am content with never knowing how that show might end. 

And that is simply because I am far too tired to spend any more time than I already do staring at screens of different sizes throughout my day. 

I am at a stage in my life where silence in my downtime is one of the most precious things and it has become far more precious than quelling the fear of missing out on something that everyone seems to be partaking in. 

Just this year alone, I have struggled to find time to finish the first part of fourth season of Stranger Things, the third season of The Umbrella Academy and I couldn’t even get started on the first seasons of local shows like Justice Served and The Brave Ones and even the much-talked-about Dahmer series. 

I have also come to terms with the fact that I most probably will not ever get around to watching them. 

So, no Netflix, I won’t be updating my payment information to continue watching. I sadly don’t have the capacity to keep up anymore. 

Most nights attempting to open and use the platform are spent scrolling the library looking for something to watch before trying to decide on something that matches my mood and the level of attention I am willing to pay whatever I end up watching.

Sometimes, I land on a show that allows me to scroll through numerous apps on my phone while simply listening to the show, but most times, it just feels as though the juice is no longer worth the squeeze.

ALSO READ: Why Netflix’s latest series about Jeffrey Dahmer is causing a social media storm

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