It usually starts off innocently enough – we see a series recommended by a friend or one that is trending on social media. But before we know it, we’ve fallen into the supervision trap, clicking “next episode”, credits after credits.
We understand the guilty pleasures of a spectator marathon, but there are pros and cons to watching compulsion, and we’re here to share them with you.
Pro 1: Binge-watching Gives Us A Natural High:
A clinical psychologist explains that an enjoyable activity, such as excessive observation, causes our brain to produce dopamine, which helps create feelings of pleasure and reward.
It also explains why some people can finish an entire season at a time. Our cravings for dopamine drive us to keep doing what our brain considers a rewarding activity, making it much more difficult to turn off our screens.
Pro 2: It Allows Us To Get In Touch With Our Emotions:
Have you ever felt so caught up in a character that you rooted for their success, cried over their sadness, or cried over their untimely death?
One expert describes the binge-watch as a form of “narrative transport,” where viewers are immersed in a story that feels real. The plot, the acting, and the music contribute to a strong emotional experience, allowing us to engage our own feelings.
Pro 3: It Helps Relieve Stress:
According to a clinical psychologist, our daily lives are bombarded by constant stress and a lot of information. Watching our favorite shows allows our brains to take a break from all the pressures and stressors around us.
Temporary escape can also help us feel rejuvenated and more prepared when we return to the “real world” to deal with our personal problems.
Con 1: The Low That Comes After The High:
The feeling of emptiness that accompanies the end of each series may be the result of what one psychologist describes as “situational depression.” Saying goodbye to a program we’ve spent so much time on can cause a sense of loss.
Just as a spike in sugar is often followed by a drop, the sudden drop in brain stimulation also makes us prone to feeling sad. The survey results also indicated feelings of guilt after watching excessive binges, due to careless duties.
Con 2: It Could Cause Sleep Deprivation:
One study found that people who binge-gazed more frequently experienced a poorer quality of sleep, increased fatigue, and symptoms of insomnia.
Watching police documentaries, horror scenes, or thrillers is also not conducive to a good night’s sleep. One expert says that the post-horror euphoria caused by the adrenaline-pumping images makes it harder for us to take a nap.
Con 3: It Can Lead To Serious Health Issues:
Sitting for long hours discourages social activities and encourages unhealthy eating habits. Prolonged sedentary behavior also increases our risks for serious illness.
Sharing this fun activity with other people will help you avoid social isolation and encourage discussions about the series; after all, we are sure that every thought in your head needs an outlet.
What is the maximum number of episodes you binge-watch at the same time? What series would you recommend for a spectator marathon?