The other day, I had just finished with an important project which meant I had quite a bit of free time on my hands. I decided to kick it off with a Netflix night, spending my entire first night catching up on some of my favorite shows.
For my friend’s birthday back in May, he decided to do something “indoors” to mark the event because truth be told, he really wasn’t an outdoorsy type of person.
So the squad and I joined the birthday celebrant for a little sleepover party, the highlight of which was a Transformers movie seriesmarathon.
Both events were prime examples of TV binge-watching. For a little more detail, according to Wikipedia, “binge-watching, also called binge-viewing or marathon-viewing, is the practice of watching entertainment or informational content for a prolonged time span, usually a single television show.”
Netflix conducted a survey back in February 2014, and 73% of the participants, when asked, defined binge-watching as “watching between 2–6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting”.
Some people will only consider it binge-watching when they watch an entire season of a show in one sitting, while other people see watching just a couple of episodes consecutively as the same thing.
All in all, binge-watching is definitely a phenomenon that millions of TV watchers are accustomed to.
One thing that has made binge-watching television shows or movies such a huge trend among young and older people is the rise of on-demand video streaming services, the most popular ones being Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO Max, and Hulu. The activity has both benefits and detriments.
Advantages of Binge-watching TV
1. Stress Reduction
According to psychoanalysts, binge-watching releases dopamine within the brain, creating a sense of enjoyment and helps TV watchers relax and reduce stress levels.
Ordinarily, you can only binge-watch a TV show properly when you are relaxed and comfortable, so it’s the perfect setting to de-stress when you need to.
2. Heightening Immersion and Enjoyment
As you binge-watch a show, you get immersed in the storyline and the characters’ lives and actions so that you become very invested in the show.
And regardless of the degree of intrigue the movie or show may have, once you have a marathon of it, your enjoyment of the TV experience is automatically tripled.
3. Strengthens Relationships or Friendships
Quality time is one of the best ways to strengthen bonds with family, friends, or romantic partners.
TV binge-watching is a good way to spend quality time with any of these people because it establishes a shared interest, constitutes a fun activity that results in shared happiness, often serves as a conversation starter, thus creating quality communication, and is a pretty inexpensive way to spend time together with your dear one(s).
Furthermore, if you have a friend or family member that is sad or ill, you can cheer them up with a good restful movie night.
If you argued with your lover, things could easily be settled over an indoor movie marathon date; just pick out sappy romance movies with happy endings, and the inspiration to settle the dispute and return to being Romeo and Juliet will come easily.
Another advantage of binge-watching TV shows is that you get to catch up on the episodes much faster.
Disadvantages of Binge-watching TV
1. Risk of Health Issues
Sitting repeatedly for extended lengths of time increases your risk of having medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Plus, studies have revealed that health-enhancing activities like exercise may not be able to prevent this.
This is because binge-watching often goes hand in hand with unhealthy binge-eating. So if you binge-watch, it is very crucial that you find ways to stay physically active in between.
2. Risk of Addiction
The fun and fulfillment that you get from binge-watching are advantages. However, there is a parallel risk of getting too addicted to the activity.
A lot of people fall into this without even knowing it. You plan on watching just two episodes of a show, tops, only to end up completing a whole season. Does that sound familiar?
This is a distinct sign that you are steadily getting addicted to binging as you engage in the activity more than you initially plan to and usually have people looking for ways to stop binge-watching TV.
3. Negative Effect on Other Activities
Addiction to binge-watching can further negatively influence other parts of your life. For instance, if you overlook other important activities or responsibilities just to binge-watch Money Heist.
Many people become anti-social, canceling plans just to sit back and complete a season of their favorite show.
Also, when you are sleep-deprived due to watching TV shows all night, it will become extremely difficult to be able to give your priorities the required attention because you just won’t have the energy for them.
10 Tips to Binge-watch TV Like A Pro.
So you must be wondering, “How can I binge-watch faster and enjoy my favorite shows without experiencing the downsides to it?” Well, here are ten tips to binge-watch TV so well, you’ll almost be able to put it as a skill on your résumé.
1. Find The Right Time
And not just in terms of scheduling but also the right amount of time you’ll need to complete your binge.
First off, your schedule needs to be clear without any other pressing concerns you need to give attention to.
You might think that you’ll still have time to finish that assignment or write that essay, but five episodes of Squid Game later, you’ll realize that time has escaped you and might even end up wishing that you didn’t binge at all.
As for the amount of time you will need to set aside, you must consider the length of the show and how many episodes or movies you plan on watching. Then plan your week accordingly so that you have enough time to binge without spilling over into time for other things.
You’re in luck because there is a tool called Can I binge that will let you know how long it takes to binge watch a TV show.
This is a really good advantage that can help you binge-watch TV shows a lot faster.
2. Get Yourself Comfortable
Next, you’ll need a cozy spot. If you tend to fall asleep easily, you might want to binge on a sofa rather than on your bed. If one is available, watch your shows on an actual TV rather than on a computer or mobile device to reduce eye strain.
Adjust the air-conditioning so that the temperature of the room is mild, and you won’t end up freezing or sweaty midway through your binge.
Also, make sure that your clothes are comfy and you have all your comfort items with you like pillows, a blanket, and so on. This brings us to the next tip…
3. Stock up on Snacks or Order Food
Let’s be honest. Most of us can’t make it half an hour into a movie without having something to eat. So to prepare adequately for your binge, you’ll need to stock up on snacks or order in food (and maybe even use it as an opportunity to spoil yourself a little).
Be careful, however, as you certainly won’t want to put on weight during all this. To avoid weight gain, try to keep your movie chow as healthy as you possibly can.
4. Use Binge-watching as an Opportunity To Stay Hydrated
Alongside your food and/or snacks, you’ll need drinks to keep you hydrated. So have some water as well as refills and other drinks you like at hand for your TV marathon.
5. Select The Shows You Want To Watch Beforehand
Not only will this prevent indecisiveness and time wastage, but it will also give you an ample chance to ensure that you have everything set streaming-wise.
If you’re going to watch a DVD, then you have to make sure you have the particular show, a working DVD player, and anything else you might need.
If you’re going to be using a streaming service, you can work with recommendations from your friends, see what’s popular on social media, or check out the “Recommended for You” section of your streaming service. If you don’t have a subscription, you can sign up for a free trial or get a friend’s login.
6. Watch With Friends or Family
A TV marathon is a perfect time to bond with your loved ones, so take advantage of the opportunity to spend that quality time with them.
This is also a great way to binge-watch TV shows without getting bored because it’s not like you’re sitting there by yourself. With other people around you can watch and discuss each episode together.
7. Find Ways To Keep Yourself Physically Active
Outside of sleep time, our bodies aren’t exactly fans of remaining in one position for an extended period. The joints become stiff, metabolism slows down, and there are quite a few health issues that could arise from this prolonged immobility.
Therefore, you should take breaks in between your binge; pause in between scenes to give your eyes some rest, stand up, do some stretches, walk from end to end in your house.
You can even slot some chores into the period just to find ways to keep yourself physically active.
8. Get A Pair of Eyezen Glasses
These are glasses that are available without prescription and perform the very useful function of protecting your eyes from all the harmful blue light that comes from all the digital screens you use daily.
The glasses reduce glare and prevent premature aging of the eyes, which is very valuable if you’re someone that enjoys binge-watching a lot.
9. Turn Off The Screen 30 Minutes Before Bed
After you finish with your binge, you have to give your brain a bit of downtime to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. Give yourself at least half an hour after your binge before you try to go to bed.
10. Participate in The Community
Binge-watching creates a sense of community around TV shows. People who share a mutual love for a particular show or series can easily discuss it, regardless of whether they are friends in reality or strangers.
So to complete your binge-watch experience, communicate about the shows and movies you like with others and join the community of fans. Tell your friends to watch the same shows too so you guys can talk about them within your group.
You might learn a thing or two from others that you couldn’t see by yourself when you were watching, and the camaraderie over a shared interest will add to the fun of it all!
Binge-watching is an activity with its pros and cons. It can relieve stress, heighten the fun in TV watching, and be a good time to bond with others.
While there might also be the risks of health issues, addiction, and neglect of other activities involved in it, if you can strike a balance through the activity, binge-watching TV can be something genuinely worth doing from time to time.