TV

Binge-Watch Responsibly: The Benefits and Dangers Of Too Much Netflix

Source: Donte Neal/Mashable

Entertainment has evolved dramatically. Based on a Netflix survey in Feb. 2014, 73% of people define binge-watching as “watching 6 episodes or more of the same TV show in one sitting.”

And if you’re thinking to yourself that binge-watching might have its negative effects, you’re right. According to a new survey in New York Post, binge-watching your favorite TV shows is bad for your mental health and prevents you from sleeping well.

“Of the 2,000 people surveyed by Patient.info, [after competing a series], those aged 18-24 were fives times more likely to feel lonely, three times more likely to feel depressed and twice as likely to feel anxious, sleepless and empty.”

However, binge-watching has its benefits.

Reported in Scientific American, binge-watching creates faux-relationships with the fictional characters of the movies and TV shows. Personally, I have had many emotional connections with fictional characters — and it restores my energy when I watch them. The study concluded that the faux relationships with characters create a sense of relief; they help relieve loneliness with people. Furthermore, these relationships make us feel closer to our ideal selves.

“We believe that couples who watch TV and movies together may also form mutual ‘friendships’ with characters like The Office’s Jim and Pam or the Stranger Things kids. When watching a favorite show together, couples can enter a new fictional world, creating a shared social experience that brings partners closer.”

Not only does binge-watching helps with our emotional state, it also helps to increase our IQ. According to QZ, TV shows have become much more complex. Storylines have become more complicated and more challenging to comprehend. All of this makes the audience more cognitively sophisticated.

As a constant binge-watcher myself, I have seen myself indulge in the puzzle of many series. My favorite shows have always been one with a complicated plot, where every episode has their own unique story but ends with a cliffhanger. It makes the viewers want to watch the next episode.

And finally, some of the shows I binge-watch have characters that act as role models. Particularly, the businessmen of the fictional worlds and reality TV world. Characters like Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl, the characters from Silicon Valley, Mark Cuban from Shark Tank have all helped me with understanding the business world and how to properly act in it. Watching a show that features a character or scenario that ties into your routine can end up having a positive impact in your life.

Despite the numerous benefits, we still cannot ignore the potential negative sides of binge-watching. If you’re going to indulge in the beauty, remember to do it responsibly.

Cover Image Courtesy of Donte Neal/Mashable

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