Why Your Binge Watching Could be A Sign Something is Wrong
We’ve all been obsessed by our favourite TV programme at times. You settle down on the sofa one minute and then, hours later, you’re propping your eyelids open telling yourself “just one more episode” before bed. I’ve been there. The whole gamut of Peaky Blinders in one week, the itch to find out how Carrie is going to get out of the latest challenging scenario in Homeland. Snuggling up with familiar characters is a very similar to an evening out with your friends except you don’t have to get dressed up, or fork out for a cab fare home. Is it really so bad for you?
Well, yes and no. It’s when you find yourself doing it more often than not, when you begrudge a night out because you’re missing out on the latest Game of Thrones machinations or start eating dinner, day in and day out, in front of the box, that it starts to become worrying. What’s really behind this very modern addiction to box sets? Let’s explore…
Let’s have a look at why you’ve got so much time to spare in the first place? f you’re feeling lovely and haven’t got anything to fill your evenings then box sets are a convenient way to fill time and even give you a sense of connection. The problem is it’s all one-sided. The characters of Breaking Bad don’t know who you are. There is no relationship and all you are getting is the voyeuristic joy of tuning into someone else’s life. In severe cases people can actually isolate themselves and neglect real relationships in favour of relationships with these fictional characters.
There is a link between binge-watching and depression, although I would see it as a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Do you watch TV because you’re depressed or feel down because you are watching too much? Either way, giving the box-sets a miss may help. It also frees up time to do something else – read, exercise, learn something, go out and talk to people.
You’re not moving for start. And we all know that Stranger Things is always more enjoyable with a bowl of popcorn or even a piece of toast. Sitting for hours on end and snacking will make you fat. At the least, park your exercise bike in front of the TV!
This addiction to consuming doesn’t really help our brains. These are great, well-made programmes and speed watching them leaves us no time for wondering what’s going to happen next. Like many things, there’s a lot of joy to be found in anticipation. Denying this and staying up until 3 am just to get to the series finale does little to help cultivate patience.
The need to fit in
Standing apart from the office chat about what’s happening in The Bridge is hard. It’s natural to want to be part of the gang, to feel as though you belong. There’s even more pressure if some people are ahead of you and you want to find out for yourself before someone lets it slip that dear old Uncle Harry gets killed in the latest episode. Of course it’s nice to be part of the conversation, but is this really how you want to spend your time? There are other things in life to talk about too…
What’s the answer?
Take a look at your own TV watching habits. Are you eating in front of the TV? Going out less? Sitting motionless with your partner on the sofa for the whole evening? Reading your child’s bedtime story with half an eye on your watch to calculate how much screen time you’ve got before bedtime?
There is more to life than TV. If you find yourself unable or unwilling to change things up, coaching may help. Contact me and we can discuss. I promise not to tell you how the series ends…