The Dangers of Binge Watching

It’s a Friday night and you are looking to relax, and you may not necessarily want to go out or even be with people. What shows do you need to catch up on? Your one friend has suggested you watch “Black Mirror,” and you are intrigued even if it sounds weird.

There is a new culture of binge watching, whether it is through Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon. Absorbing new shows over a few days or watching multiple episodes in one sitting. Some people do this to unwind and relax from a long day to watch a show, or have it playing in the background while multitasking and getting other things done.

Christina Steigerwalt, Class of 2021, a history major said, “Binge watching helps de-stress after a long day, but also can cause more stress if you do it too often,” said Christina Steigerwalt, a freshman history major.

However, as Steigerwalt suggests, there are many reasons for this present trend. Binge watching is just a new addiction that you may have to consider the next time you sit down and open Netflix on your phone, laptop, TV, or other electronic viewing device.

“Downsides, I get nothing done While binge watching, there’s so many cliffhangers and interesting things going on I can’t resist watching the next episodes. By the time I look around, it’s after 1 am, and I’ve gotten nothing done,” said Parisa Bradshaw a sophomore undecided.

According to an article from Reader’s Digest, surveys have found that 2-6 episodes of a series watched in a single sitting is considered binge watching.  Sitting for long periods of time also has the potential to increase chances of health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, even if a person has the habits of exercising daily.

Taking mini breaks in between watching episodes, for physical activity or just getting up to walk around would be much.

There is, of course, a danger of being too obsessed with binge watching shows and becoming addicted.  Jonathan Fader, PhD, and a clinical psychologist, cofounder of the Union Square Practice in New York City says that, “Addiction involves doing an activity more than you had planned. For example, if you intend to watch three episodes of a show and end up watching six, it could be a sign that you’re overdoing it.”  He advises to take breaks between episodes, to take a breath between binge watching sessions.

Fader also suggests that watching with friends, rather than binge watching alone, is more beneficial.

“Sometimes you just need a binge watching day. Everyone needs a day like that every so often, even though it rarely happens to me anymore,” said freshman Danielle Krispin.

There may be dangers to binge watching to keep in mind, but you can always get by with a little help from your friends.

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