Getting Off the Couch and Using that MoviePass Card is Actually Good for Your Health
One of the things that Mitch Lowe, CEO of MoviePass, has tried to talk about in the company’s last few TV interviews was the idea that MoviePass is helping people come out of what he called the “cocooning phase”. The Cocooning trend gets a lot of attention from the media as a big trend in consumer behavior.
A combination of better home theaters, more high-quality HD content offerings, lots of tech options including social media, all on top of people’s general anxiety of going out into the public has made cocooning a big trend for that past several years.
The downside of cocooning, and staying home to binge on the 8 latest episodes of “Barry“, (which I love BTW) or whatever your latest addiction might be, is that it is actually bad for your brain. Netflix binging is know to cause depression, and from all indications, the sour mood of the nation reflects the downward spiral of too much isolation and too much social media. Experts continue to beat the dead horse on the perils of overdoing it with screens and addiction, but for the most part, people seem to be stuck in a rut that up until MoviePass, seemed unbreakable.
The data on binging shows that Neurochemically it fills our brains and bodies with high levels of adrenaline and cortisol, which if it stays in our system, can increase our stress levels over time. So while we may think that Netflix binging is a great way to tune out and relax, it actually means that our brains are always “on,” and aren’t relaxing the way they need to be.
Of course, Netflix itself has become addicted to this bad binging habit and tries to encourage it relentlessly. Deborah DSouza from Investopedia did an excellent piece on this. Netflix came out with a press release trying to normalize and change the narrative on binging, renaming it “racing”. A binge racer is a viewer who aims to finish a season within 24 hours of its release, according to the press release from Netflix. The number of binge racers on the platform has increased more than 20 times between 2013 and 2016.
DSouza makes the comical point. “Knowing that this piece of trivia paints a very bleak picture of people’s lives, the PR release added: “…before you assume that racers are just basement-dwelling couch potatoes, know that for these super fans, the speed of watching is an achievement to be proud of and brag about. TV is their passion and Binge Racing is their sport.
It’s like Mark Zuckerberg recommending we start seeing less of our friends in person.”
In deep contrast to the negativity of binging it alone on Netflix, studies show that going to the movies alone is actually good for you! It seems that the social interaction of enjoying a film with other people who are laughing, crying, and gasping with you as you watch a film actually builds a positive level of social interaction and bonding. Further, by going it alone, you overcome fears of doing things alone and grow from the experience.
MoviePass has the unique opportunity to take the benefits of it’s popular and fast-growing movie subscription service and make it a truly social experience that could help improve the mental health of millions of Americans. Atom Films, which bills itself as “a revolutionary social movie ticketing app and website” has been making strong progress in making movie-going more of a social experience. Atom makes it easy to coordinate a movie going outing with others, agree on a time and movie, and then book the reservation. This would be an excellent addition to the MoviePass experience, and I remain hopeful the two companies could come together in the future to deliver the combination of an affordable movie subscription with frictionless social features.
In the interim, I think that MoviePass, and Mitch Lowe could double down on the message that MoviePass is a bright light out of the dark cocoon of depression brought on by too many hours of binging. It’s like your mother used to say to you when you were feeling down. Get out and do something!
Maybe the cheering mother of the future will say “get out and use that MoviePass!”