Netflix streaming had its biggest year ever in 2020, picking up 37 million new subscribers worldwide. But that was while everyone was trapped at home.
Signs so far in 2021 suggest “Netflix may be headed toward a lackluster year,” according to an Associated Press report.
As the pandemic recedes and people move on with their lives, many of us are re-evaluating our habits and spending. And some people might find that Netflix is no longer a good fit for them, for all kinds of reasons.
Here are some of the biggest reasons to reconsider Netflix.
1. You want to spend more time on hobbies
It’s all too easy to wrap up work for the day and make for the couch — and then spend the entire evening there, binge-watching a new show.
If you often find your free time evaporating, or wish you had more time for things you used to enjoy, ask yourself if Netflix is to blame.
Canceling Netflix for a hobby isn’t just a way to save money and time. It could also lengthen your life, as we detail in “7 Hobbies That Help You Live Longer.”
2. Price hikes are driving you away
Are you ready to spend even more on these shows? Are you getting 40% more value than you were five years ago?
3. There’s not enough to watch
Depending on your interests and how much time you’ve spent watching Netflix already, you might find there aren’t enough new shows to justify the ongoing cost.
This is where it pays to be honest with yourself. Maybe you’ve gotten your money’s worth for now and you should just unsubscribe. There’s no reason you can’t come back later when a bunch of new stuff is out.
4. There’s too much to watch
On the other hand, maybe you’re coming to realize entertainment has completely gotten away from you lately: You’ve fallen behind on the shows your friends are talking about, and you don’t have time or energy to catch up.
There’s no reason to continue paying for something you aren’t using. Again, this doesn’t have to be a permanent change. It might just make sense to have a Netflix “detox” for a while and then subscribe again when your friends get invested in something brand-new that you want to keep up with.
5. It’s bad for your relationship
Is your partner over Netflix and chill and more likely to say “chill out with the Netflix already”? You’re not alone.
Multiple studies have tried to identify how often Netflix dampens the mood. Research from economics professors at Reed College and the University of Delaware found people who own a TV are 6% less likely to have had sex in the past week. That study was based on more than 4 million people across 80 countries.
A separate survey from The Wall Street Journal found 12% of respondents believed streaming habits were responsible for less-frequent sex.
6. It’s bad for your brain
We’ve probably all heard someone concerned about kids watching too much TV. But what about middle-aged adults?
As we recently covered in “Here’s What Watching TV in Midlife Does to Your Brain,” people ages 45 to 64 who watch TV too frequently “see greater declines in cognitive function and reduced gray matter volumes in their brains later in life.”
7. Your favorite show is over
All good things come to an end — whether it’s a new program or Netflix’s licensing agreement for an old favorite.
If you’ve become overly familiar with Netflix’s “Last day to watch on Netflix” messages or just don’t see any of the things you miss coming back, it could be time to cancel your subscription.
8. You want to try alternative services
By at least one metric, Netflix is no longer the most popular streaming service.
As we wrote in “The 10 Most Popular Streaming TV Services,” Disney+ was the most downloaded video-on-demand mobile app in 2020. While Disney was a relative latecomer to the streaming game, thanks to a decades-deep library of films and shows and enormous investment in new content, Disney clearly has caught up.
However, Disney+ is far from the only service in town. Check out “13 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less” and see if there’s a better fit for you.
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