Binge Watching And Why You Should Not Do It

Lynn Martelli
Lynn Martelli

Once again, the next episode of our favorite series is over and once again it ends with an exciting “cliffhanger.” Thanks to streaming platforms, however, we no longer have to wait to find out what happens next, as we used to, but can simply play episode after episode, season after season without interruption. This is how we end up spending hours in front of the screen. This phenomenon is called binge-watching and makes you have less time for

According to Apotheken Umschau, the tendency to series marathons arises when we identify with the protagonist:inside a series. We then constantly have the urge to want to know what will happen to them next. Thanks to streaming services, we can follow this urge unhindered, making binge-watching more and more common.

But the time we spend in front of the screen is missed elsewhere, such as sleeping, exercising, or nurturing our relationships. Under certain circumstances, this can have a fatal effect on our mental and physical health.

What It Does To Your Brain

There is evidence that regular binge-watching has negative effects on our brain performance. A 2019 study shows that watching more than 3.5 hours of television per day deteriorates our cognitive abilities. The test subjects were all over 50 years old. The researchers noticed that people with a high TV consumption could remember especially spoken information worse.

In addition, time-consuming binge-watching may also leave you less time for things that would positively engage your brain. For example, during this time you could also read interesting articles, learn a new language or instrument.

Such activities lead to the formation of new connections between neurons or possibly even completely new cells. This is important to keep your brain healthy and best protected against possible future cell loss.

Effects On Sleep; Diet And Exercise

Sleep disturbances are another possible consequence of regular serial marathons. According to a study from 2017, people affected by binge-watching generally sleep worse and suffer from fatigue more often.

One of the reasons for this is the blue light of the screen. This prevents our body from releasing the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin is essential for slowly reducing energy consumption in the evening and preparing the body for sleep. If there is not enough of it available, we have trouble falling asleep and may wake up more often in the middle of the night.

Further research proves the link between binge-watching and a generally unhealthy lifestyle. People who consume a lot of series also seem to be more likely to eat an unhealthy diet and suffer from a lack of exercise more often. This in turn can promote obesity, increasing the risk of other medical conditions, such as diabetes II and cardiovascular disease.

The same research also points to positive effects of binge-watching. For example, consuming many series episodes can lift your mood and help you unwind after a long day at work. However, you should be aware that these are only short-term effects, which you should weigh against the negative long-term consequences.

Binge-Watching And Loneliness

Last but not least, our interpersonal relationships also suffer from regular binge-watching. If we spend a lot of time watching series every day, we have less capacity to build connections with our fellow human beings and maintain friendships. In addition, we find ourselves permanently in a passive role in front of the screen.

According to Apotheken Umschau, this can lead to us unlearning everyday social behavior, as our brain has adapted to passivity. For example, we can no longer react adequately to the facial expressions and gestures of our counterparts.

One possible consequence is that we feel lonely and isolated. According to scientific findings, loneliness in turn promotes depression and increases the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Share This Article