Instead of “Netflix and chill,” maybe it should be “Netflix and kill.”
A new study done by researchers at Lancaster University in the U.K. reveals that peak electricity usage is happening later in the evening, with the busiest hour for Internet use now between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. thanks to watching streaming services — a time when many couples used to be in bed getting romantic.
“Overall, the paper argues that a better understanding of how everyday practices are shifting, in concert with the provision and design of online services, could provide a basis for the policies and initiatives needed to mitigate the most problematic projections of Internet energy use,” the paper’s abstract reads.
The study analyzed evidence from nearly 400 devices to show that peak electricity usage is now much later than it used to be, thanks to streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube and others.
“To the extent that this traffic is associated with viewing films or programmes, rather than short videos on YouTube, it suggests that mobile devices are used to prolong hours of ‘TV watching’, perhaps after the main TV set has been turned off,” the study reads.
The study continued: “This is supported by the diary study, in which instances of TV watching later in the evening tended to occur on mobile devices, and especially tablets. One participant remarked how it “opens up a whole new world to watching television in bed” if she’s having trouble sleeping, whilst another reported that watching on a tablet in bed by himself, after having watched something with his family the living room, helps him to fall asleep.”
The study was published in the journal Energy Research and Social Science and required some of its participants to keep diaries.
According to The Sun, the research could support a theory from University of Cambridge professor David Spiegelhalter who said that couples are less interested in sex because they are watching more TV in bed.
“Sexually active [British] couples between 16 and 64 were asked [how often they have sex], and the median was five times in the last month in 1990, then four times in 2000 and three times in 2010,” Spiegelhalter said in 2016 according to the Telegraph.
He added that by 2030, people will not have sex at all, something he said is “a very worrying trend.”