Disclaimer: The following is satirical in nature; however...there could be a tinge of truth sprinkled among the text.
How many times do elementary, middle, and high school students find themselves wondering at 2 am if they should hit that start-next episode-now-button on Netflix or actually turn the iPad off so it might get up to 40 percent charge tomorrow for school? Will the teacher in my second class buy the excuse that I really did plug the iPad in but the charger must have been stepped on by a large hairless cat? You see...while students struggle to balance equations or fill out that last spot on the periodic table or remember if Ham is really a son of Moses (it's actually Noah), they can quote the exact moment when Michael Scott's hairstyle changes (Season 1 - what was that hair?). The precise moment when Michael declares bankruptcy or if Betty or Veronica is better is easily identifiable...but the moment when the American Revolution started may not be.
TV is ridiculous. That's literally the point of it. We re-watch The Office or possibly the more well-rounded Parks and Recreation eight times, but actually filling out that worksheet on Macbeth would be the height of absurdity. That's just a waste of time.
Busy work is a phrase oft thrown around. However, the term is self-defeating when held up to scrutiny. Things that keep us busy are not bad for us. Nay. They are indeed good for us. Watching TV is simply something that keeps us busy from silence and staring at blank walls. And how often do we find ourselves watching a show not because we are quite ready but because the dreaded “s word” is thrown about by our peers or worse on our Twitter feed. Spoilers in modern society cause us to need to watch a TV show immediately so it becomes less enjoyable and more work.
In the often stated case study of Madeupsky, the researchers found that students who watched even two hours of Netflix were more likely to watch three. And students who watched four or more hours were likely to binge on a single show while drinking caffeine. In the same study, students who did even two hours of homework were seen to be usually doing it in a different class, attempting to also flip a piece of bacon onto pancakes.
This is becoming more and more troubling as it is easier and easier to access these shows. In the book Title Not Provided by Justin Fakenàme, he had three interviews with students:
The first was quoted stating the following about Netflix, “I watch it.”
The second stated, “It's like TV but online.”
And the third and perhaps most troubling asked Mr. Fakenàme, “Who are you?”
The disturbing trend is not the amount of homework in the least but instead the amount of time devoted to other activities. A teacher may give out fifteen minutes of homework due next class on a Friday, meaning with block schedule it's due on Tuesday after the weekend. However, after figuring out what show the student wants to watch while doing his/her homework and then answering that text from three different people and then making sure all streaks are good on Snapchat, he/she has forgotten what was actually being accomplished in the first place, and he/she goes to get a sandwich.
Netflix should be ousted from the internet. Being a student should not be about who's better: McDreamy or McSteamy (does it matter?). Or who really is the Gossip Girl (doesn't it change?) Being a student should be about homework...for how else do you expect teachers to drive students to hate the pressure of the deadline but then crush it anyway. How else will teachers have tons of grading to do rather than spend time with their families? How else can teachers, great teachers, hopeful teachers crush the dreams and hearts of students? After all, if you don't like homework become a teacher, and then you can make your own students miserable some day.