Friday, 22 May 2020

Binge Watching And Its Ill Effects


By Shreshtha Dhar M.A. M.Phil
Clinical Psychologist
Thought Craft

With the easy availability of Online television and movies via streaming applications there is a new trend of binge watching among young adults. Individuals have the tendency to watch shows on a continuous basis. It can stretch for hours even days with very less time gap between each of the shows. They would want to watch an entire season till it is over or even more. Usually it can be due to cliff hangers that are created to keep the audience excited and motivated till the end of the show.
Binge watching is becoming very common among the youth. Several of them have reported that they have skipped work, classes, appointments, meals and sleep in order to finish the show they have started watching. 

Binge watching has several impacts, both physical and psychological. It affects the body and mind and before the person realises it starts affecting the person’s work and lifestyle.
Physically the person becomes lethargic. He/she gets used to sitting for long periods of time; the show provides a false sense of reward and gratification, which does not allow him/her to involve in other physical activities. Sitting in the same posture can affect the person’s posture. He/she may experience back and shoulder aches. Along with that staring at the television for a long time can strain eyes. Physical discomfort is very common for individuals indulging in binge watching.

Due to an unhealthy schedule the person might also start experiencing several bodily issues for example, nausea, poor digestion and other gastrointestinal problems. Occasionally binge watching is accompanied with eating unhealthy food which worsens the problem.
Psychologically it can make the person feel unproductive. Although it may seem to the person that he/she is enjoying the show, however the person tends to feel that he/she has wasted a lot of their time. The feeling of being unproductive can impact the person’s mood, self esteem, confidence. 

Missing out on important work can make the person restless and anxious. All the more the person might find it difficult to get back to work. Binge watching also affects concentration and attention. The individual might experience that he/she is getting distracted very easily.    

Binge watching might seem exciting and can keep a person engrossed for very long lengths of time. It rewards the person with momentary happiness, however it does not last long; it eventually makes it very difficult for the person to adjust with the environment around him/her.  

Back in the days when shows where not so easily available there used to be a fixed time for entertainment. We can in a similar manner schedule a limited time for entertainment. 1-2 hour could be an optimum time to engage. This will help us get the work done and we will not miss out on the new and upcoming entertainment.

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