Northwest Horizons

Students stream at school

Rhianna+Collins+streams+in+her+English+class.+Students+all+over+Northwest+pass+the+time+with+their+favorite+shows.
Rhianna Collins streams in her English class. Students all over Northwest pass the time with their favorite shows.

Rhianna Collins streams in her English class. Students all over Northwest pass the time with their favorite shows.

Rhianna Collins streams in her English class. Students all over Northwest pass the time with their favorite shows.

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Texts, movies, photos, endless information: all within a small device that fits in the palm of your hands.

The internet is constantly evolving to compete with other services. Social media allows people to communicate instantly and keep in touch constantly across long distances, eliminating the need for traditional postal service. Recently, streaming websites like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube replace the need for television. There’s cable in unnecessary when you can find almost any movie or show at the touch of your fingertips.

Many students find themselves spending hours binge-watching episodes of their favorite shows online. But with everything their expected to do at home– homework, projects, service learning, sports and clubs– it’s difficult to find spare time to escape into something else.

“I don’t have free time at home because of homework,” freshman Rhianna Collins said. “It’s easier to finish a show at school.”

Collins’s favorite show to stream is Dexter, which is about a forensic technician who leads a double life as a murderer himself. Collins often doesn’t have time after school to catch up on episodes she misses, but watches them in the gymnasium, classrooms, and even walking down the hallway.

How can a student watch a movie in school with such strict cell phone policies? If used at an inappropriate time, a teacher can confiscate phones for the entire day.

“As long as it’s not distracting or during class,” junior Sarah Long said, “it’s fine.”

Often in class, students are encouraged to study or read when they’ve finished their classwork, but many use that extra time to squeeze in a few minutes of a movie. As long as they’re not disturbing anyone else or avoiding classwork, teachers have no problem with students using their phones in class.

Long uses her phone to watch shows like Parks & Recreation, The Crown, and The Office almost everyday. A lack of cellular data prevents her from watching anything at school, however.

Of course, this did not happen fifteen, ten, even five years ago. Advancements in internet speed and range has allowed people to stream almost everywhere. Monthly memberships to services like Netflix and Hulu offer hundreds of movies and shows to watch with no commercials. Even YouTube is free if you’re willing to wait through advertisements.

So spend this winter break catching up on your favorite show, starting a new one, or even just watching a holiday movie with your friends and family. You have the entire internet in your back pocket, waiting to be used.

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Students stream at school