Binge-watching is a trend followed in the name of entertainment. How is affecting their life and behaviour? Is Binge-watching on, say Netflix, turning into an addiction?
Netflix binge-watchers are at the brink of behavioural addiction. They have either already developed an addiction to binge-watching Netflix or, are on the edge of developing it. Subscription is not the only price the viewers pay to watch seasons and series consecutively. They have shows recommended similar to their favourite genres, HD quality. Not to mention, the buffering and those infinite 2-minute advertisements at each interval disrupted the rhythm of the show. Ah! so annoying!
Binge-watching is just another slow poison diffused in our life to the extent that we no longer realize. The impact it has is on our health, career, and relationships. Many people do not realize the addiction and its harmful effects. Simply because the comfort of their bed and their personal space overcomes their problematic binge-watching behaviour.
People often associate staying in their room, binge-watching all day with being comfortable with their solitude. However, this is the most common misconception. Excessive binge-watching only satisfies the urge to escape from reality, deals with loneliness, or only becomes your companion for procrastinating.
How Binge-watching affects you on the contrary?
Staying at home staring at a screen, gives people the gratification of forgetting about the worries in the real world. Simply escaping into the fantasy of the reel world. When in fact it cuts off your real-life interaction with people, making you accustomed to watching people onscreen. So much so that simply standing next to more than 2 people or having to talk to them seems overwhelming. Eventually, this causes withdrawal symptoms, excessive binge-watching has only made you lonely, putting a negative impact on your social life.
Moreover, constant exposure to violence and detachment from reality reduces self-control. When a series end, one is forced to return to his real life. When compared to the reel life seems dull, less successful, and less fulfilling. This eventually leads to self-loathing, depression, anxiety and additional addiction to even more binge-watching, to feel false gratification.
People lose track of time while consuming Netflix content. They may end up with the feeling of regret and guilt, the conflict between entertainment and duties may arise. The goals are sidelined while the consumer achieves the goal of completing the series in one sitting as promised to his peers. The list of goals and its criteria overall has shifted from being financially stable and independent to provide for the family, to simply being up to date with the content on Netflix, this also ends up the consumer with a lack of sleep and worst, insomnia.
Is Netflix really an addiction for you? More undesirable consequences that Binge-watching can bear
The most common impact is maladaptive sleep schedule, the cliff-hanger at the end of each episode, and the feature of automatic shift coerces to continue watching. It is no surprise to hear someone successfully watch an entire season of a certain show in one night and boast about it. Feeling fatigued and inability to function effectively at work or school comes with no surprise with a dysfunctional sleeping schedule. Completing a season has become a lot more important than completing your assignment, being aware of the newest release in the reel-world is more important than the real world, apparently insomnia has become the new vogue of the Netflix generation.
Spending countless hours on Netflix without realizing the content exposed to our eyes. The explicit nudity drives the sexual desires in young minds without any supervised prior knowledge of the content and the precautions. This becomes another leading cause of teenage pregnancy and the spread of STDs. Such strong content without adult supervision has snatched away the innocence of young minds. Getting the gist of sex and violence from the fictional representation of social media content has direct/indirect effects. Namely, their sexual attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours.
Teenage and adolescence are when a child is introduced to his cognitive skills, with under-developed concepts. Viewing content showing pre-marital affairs and violence are most likely to affect the behaviour when they become adults. Constant exposure to drugs, violence and curse vocabulary is so normal, especially amongst the teenagers who presume it to be the new trend and start abusing drugs and violence till they are faced with grave consequences, dragging the ones affiliated to them along.
Young people account for nearly 70% of the regularly binge-watching audience, Netflix is one of the platforms to have made binge-watching most convenient. The significance of raising awareness of the latter symptoms and disorders caused by excessive binge-watching is in the underlying mechanism that drives these behavioural/psychological negative impacts. Ignorant behaviour towards the side-effects feeding slow poison into our life is why we need to raise awareness regarding the topic, people only realize these symptoms when faced with grave consequences.
About the Author:
21 years old, an aspiring writer. Her work includes short stories, articles, and business writings. Currently residing in Karachi, Pakistan, doesn’t eat pork!