We all are very familiar with the above term, isn’t it? Binge-watching or binge-viewing is a day-to-day common activity for all of us. We all love binging over series or movies these days. One of everyone’s favourite activity is snacking and watching shows on popular platforms like Netflix. A survey conducted by Netflix in February 2014 shows that 73% of the people defines binge-watching as watching 2-6 episodes of the same series in one go.
Binge-watching as an observed cultural phenomenon has become popular with the rise of video streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. We always have endless great shows available on these platforms according to our preferences. Sometimes we sit on a couch and watch shows for hours at a time. Sometimes we even skip meals at the proper time to binge-watch episodes because we are so tempted to get to the end.
We all agree and we love doing this activity but is binge-watching good for us? We need to question ourselves that. What if it has many bad hazards which we all are suffering somehow but unaware of?
Disturbance in Sleep:
A study shows that binge-watching can affect your sleep. It causes insomnia. It may also cause Pre-sleep arousals. Pre-sleep arousals can result because of both biological and psychological factor. Biologically, many studies say that the bright light from the screen plays the role of daylight.
So if we are exposed to that light before sleep it disturbs our circadian rhythm, making it harder for us to sleep. Psychologically it depends upon what kind of show you are watching before sleep and what impact it has on your mind and mood.
Too heavy movies can take longer for us to sleep because it increases our heart rate and blood pressure. These sleep disturbance habits is a big reason behind your bad mental health issues. Some studies say that deficiency in proper sleep weakens your attention span, working memory and emotional regulations. In the long run, insomniac increases higher chances of depression or anxiety disorders.
Reduces physical activities:
Binge-watching makes you less physically active because you are just sitting in one place and doing nothing but spending hours snacking and watching something. This can create many health issues, like obesity. Sitting in one position can also result in several kinds of pain in the body like back pain.
Daily exercise is very essential for a human being. It improves mood by increasing endorphin, serotonin in certain parts of the brain and also brings structural changes in the brain, making us less vulnerable to stress and anxiety.
Michigan State University researchers presented a link between binge-watching and poor life choices. Like choosing unhealthy snacks over healthy food to munch over and sedentary behaviours at the 67th Annual conference of the international communication Association in 2017. Studies show that sitting in one position for a long time can increase the risks of metabolic syndrome, which may increase the risk of heart disease.
Result in digital eyestrain:
Staring at shows in a dark room with bright light can also result in eye problems. According to the Vision Council, 80% of Americans use digital devices for over two hours per day. And 59% of them reports eyestrain, dry eyes and blurred vision.
It’s advisable to binge-watch with some company instead of isolating yourself from the real world to connect to virtual entertainment. Make it a more fun activity otherwise, it might lead to loneliness at one point especially when a show ends. With some company with you, you can always exchange your ideas and have some conversations.
Binge-watching is like drugs, you know?
When we are engaged in some activity we enjoy, our brain produces a chemical called dopamine, which creates excitement and happiness. While watching something, our brain releases dopamine, giving us the similar feeling of ‘high’ creating pleasure just like drugs which increases our cravings to watch more and more.
But we all know how drugs can be hazardous to our health and the same applies to binge-watching as we are all aware of the above bad affects now. So from further be aware before doing this activity repeatedly if you are constant sufferers of the above problems.