Online box sets are fast becoming an addiction: Alun Newman from BBC Radio Solent

I fear the online box set. I think my generation does not have the DNA required for this level of technology self-control. It has become a growing problem for me that is forcing a rethink of my viewing habits.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 10:28 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 11:45 am
Alun Newman and Lou Hannan host BBC Radio Solent's mid-morning show

I have recently become addicted to the simple yet heartwarming show Supercar, Superfam on BBC3. The only way to watch this is through the BBC iPlayer. A simple yet moving show about two Muslim business men, their passion for souping-up fast cars and also living in the family home (the star of the show is the dad in my opinion). An intriguing insight into both worlds.

None of this is hugely relevant. My issue arises at the end of the show, usually when I should be going to bed. Before the end credits, in the right hand corner of the screen the iPlayer states ‘The next episode will start in 38 secs…’ Then it starts counting down!

Even worse is you can jump ahead missing the opening credits of the next episode taking you straight back in for more delicious viewing. In the countdown, I have to decide what to do and my thinking always follows the same pattern.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The next episode is only 25 minutes, I’m not that tired, I might as well watch it, I’ll get up 10 minutes later, and BOOM I haven’t moved. When telly was scheduled, I was forced to turn it off thanks to Newsnight or Panorama, but those days are over.

The same problem arose when I became addicted to Bosch (played by the brilliant Titus Welliver) on Amazon Prime. I kept promising myself that ‘this will be the last one…’

It was impossible, even worse, if your wife’s into the same show. The minute someone tables the idea ‘shall we watch one more?’

It has the similar thrill sensation to bunking off school. You only have seconds to decide before you're thrown back in for more.

We have warnings on cereals, roads, cigarettes, gym equipment, mints, toasters, the list goes on and on.

I propose a warning for online box sets aimed at weak-minded, middle aged men who should know better.

Along with the countdown clock and before you can get to the next episode, a warning message should flash up in bold in the centre of the screen with a message,  ‘you’ll struggle to get up in the morning’ or ‘if you watch another one you’ll eat cheese and put on weight’ or even ‘it’s Tuesday what the hell are you doing it’s nearly 1am’.

It’s time to tackle this issue head-on before I get too tired.