The Binge-Watching Phenomenon

We have all fallen victim to binge watching at one point or another. You’re chilling in your room, procrastinating your homework, and you try to resist the “continue watching” but are suddenly 5 hours deep into Grey’s Anatomy. This is a college students both best friend and worst enemy.

What can’t you stop?

Times have definitely changed from when we were growing up or how our parents grew up. It used to be that you had to be in front of the television at a certain time to watch your favorite movie or show. There wasn’t any $8 a month streaming service that you could get hundreds of television shows or movies at your disposal. This article has some interesting statistics about binge watching. Kali Holloway, the author of the article, talks about the intrinsic motivation we have to continue watching. She relates it to the concept of eating potato chips where you can’t have just one. Having it so easily accessible makes us so much more susceptible to keep going because there is literally nothing to stop you. Here is an article that goes into more detail about the science of why we always continue watching. Author, Jordan Gaines Lewis, talks about how humans are naturally empathetic and we want to relate and connect emotionally with people, even if it is through a television screen.


What is this doing to us? 

It is no secret that watching six hours of our favorite Netflix shows is bad for us, but exactly how bad is it? This article give insight to a few problems one could encounter when indulging in another episode. Writer Chelsea Stone points out the potential health effects as well as social problems this might cause. It makes sense how one’s health and social status’s could be effected from laying in bed for multiple hours a day watching “Breaking Bad”. Stone points out how the lack of movement and exercise can put one more at risk for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. HERE shows an interesting study where a 25 year old man went on a monitored 94 hour binge watch. The man, AJ Fragoso, had a check up before and after his binge watch. Dr. Robert Glatter found that Fragoso’s heart rate had increased and how doing this for extended periods of time can lead to weight gain. The effect that is more prevalent to us college students’ is the decrease in productivity that any study in the world could prove.




7 thoughts on “The Binge-Watching Phenomenon

  1. Maura Katherine Maguire

    This blog post really intrigued me. I am an avid Netflix watcher, there is nothing I love more than finding a new show and watching it like theres no tomorrow. This post is really relevant to society today due and I feel technology has really influenced our everyday lives. I really enjoyed the way you wrote this post. Good work!

  2. dms6679

    This post is so relevant to our generation, as almost everyone is a Netflix user. I totally understand the struggle of getting caught up in a series, and just wanting to finish it in the least amount of sittings as possible. I think it is important to remember to everything, like watching Netflix, in moderation. After reading this, I will be more mindful whenever I sit down to start I new show!

  3. Kyle Thomas Finnerty

    This is a very interesting blog post topic. I have also found myself over the past few years to be prone to laying around and watching Netflix or HBO go whenever i’m not out with my friends somewhere. The fact that all the episodes are just sitting right there for you one after another definitely doesn’t help anyone get out of bed or up off the couch either. I always have tried to make it a point though that if I spend a lot of time in a given day binge watching than I will be sure to go to the gym or go for a run. But some days this is much easier said than done. It is as good for my mental sanity as anything honestly, but I also find that it counteracts any potential for getting too out of shape.

  4. Jackson Grey Hope

    With technology so available we all have fallen in to this trap. To me, this falls under procrastination as well. I personally find myself watching episodes of Entourage one after another while I know I have work to do. This is what companies want you to do. Often episodes will end in cliff-hangers that will make you NEED to watch the next episode and it’s so hard to say no. Check out some tips to stay away from binge watching series.

  5. Charles Tyler Hart

    It is very scary how prone this generation is to diseases like heart disease and diabetes. As you stated, Netflix and other streaming options like Hulu make us lazy, and some people sit without movement for hours and hours. Say you sleep from 12 AM to 9 AM, and then watch 3 episodes of Game of Thrones from 3 PM – 6 PM. That is half of your day staying still, without any movement. Then you take into account eating meals and that might factor in to be another hour. An observational study one can do to see if watching Netflix for long periods of time causes heart disease due to lack of movement would be to have two groups watch Netflix for hours. One group would do exercise between episodes, and one would not do any exercise, being our control group. Now this experiment could never happen because you can’t tell somebody to watch Netflix every day for 20 years, but if it were to be done, the obvious result would be revealed that Netflix binge watching does cause diseases like heart disease, with lack of movement being a confounding variable.

  6. Lauren Hile

    I’ve never thought about how binge watching Netflix shows can affect our health, but it obviously can. I have a very short attention span so I have only binge watched 8 20 minute episodes in one sitting, but even for people who can’t keep their attention on one thing for so long, it’s so easy to do. I especially find it interesting about how you tied binge watching in with our lives as college students because I feel like this could very negatively impact our lives as students. In an article by the Stanford Daily newspaper, binge watching is more harmful to our mental health than our physical health. We feel even more alone and sacrifice time spent with our friends with, say, the kids from Stranger Things. I feel like this is something we all have to be careful of. There are so many things that we as students have to deal with, and adding Netflix binging to the list shouldn’t be one of them!

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