Health

Five Reasons to Cut Back on Binge-watching

Navigating through the toxicity of binge-watching and its effects on social life, physical health and mental wellbeing 

 

Spending hours on a favourite show to unwind or space out for a while has been a coping mechanism for many. It may be a stress buster or a window to escape from the raging cacophony of the world but is also accompanied by a bunch of perils when turned into a compulsion.  

 

 Alienation

 

Binge watchers may consciously intend to lock out social interaction and seek isolation by immersing into hours of binge-watching on a live streaming or video-on-demand channel for days on end, but is this disconnection favourable? Such episodic disassociation by binge-watching triggers depression and loneliness. The phenomenon of watching something on loop could be so addictive that the compulsion to let go of socialising skills becomes overwhelming. Psychologists do not recommend such self-imposed alienation that widens the gulf between the viewer and family or friends.

 

Damaged Sleep Cycle

 

Spending an abnormal amount of time with eyes glued to a smartphone or laptop screen emitting blue light meddles with sleep triggering insomnia and day-long lethargy with a diminished ability to focus. Viewers often have no control over the amount of screentime they allot. When extended for hours, what was supposed to be fun and a window to dump stress could easily backfire to fuel depression and anxiety. Spurred by poor sleep quality, viewers also suffer from headaches, bouts of migraine, loss of appetite, daytime sleepiness and crankiness and poor vision. Indeed binge-watching leaves a trail of ill consequences when integrated into daily schedule.

 

Distraction

 

Bingewatching brings about a malicious distraction from work which when let to go on unchecked could metamorphose into a monstrous problem. Hedonists who depend on passive viewing which initiates a decline in cognitive prowess further meddles with work and education. The capacity to absorb, process and interpret information is reduced. Also, the “high” viewers experience is caused by the dopamine-releasing habit of binge-watching which wanes away eventually making many feel comparatively low or hollow at work or personal life.

 

Obesity and Illness 

 

The obesogenic behaviour stops people from indulging in exercises or physical mobility. Viewers simply laze around with snacks and delicacies—an unhealthy hobby to spend leisure time. Being immobile for unimaginable hours is not merely a leading cause of obesity but chronic depression and obsessive behaviour. Could be a sedentary life choice but definitely destructive especially for kids whose skill development, learning prowess and cognitive faculties are compromised substantially. 

Puja Sinha

Coffee addict. Daydreamer. Hitchcock Fan. A post-grad in English Literature, Puja is a forever enthusiast of traversing long distances by rail. Her verticals of choice are entertainment, art & society. She can be found lazing in the garden when not fidgeting over deadlines.
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