You'll have to forgive us if the Weekly Boffin looks a little jaded this morning. However, we can accept no blame for the tired eyes and possible drooling. There were only three more episodes of The Killing to watch and, well, would you have watched just one?
To most people I know being tired is a fact of life but how many of us have missed out on a few hours sleep because of that TV show? It might not be the Killing, it could have been Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead or Pretty Little Liars, 2016's three most watched programmes. Many of us have a favourite and many of us have indulged in binge-watching.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "watching multiple episodes (of a television program) in rapid succession typically by means of DVD or digital streaming". Research suggests the average TV binge to be at almost 4 episodes of an hour long show.
It became such a popular pastime that "binge-watching" was the word of 2015 but is it good for us? It has been claimed that such long sessions can lead to depression and loneliness, that it has all the telltale signs of addiction and that it can cause feelings of loss and grief when a show ends.
Conversely it is said that binge-watching makes us more cognitively sophisticated. TV storylines are becoming ever more complex and we have to juggle narratives and character threads all of which give us a mental workout.
Binge-watchers have what is termed a "flow experience". When we completely immerse ourselves in a plot it becomes more pleasurable but the familiar "just one more episode" attitude can leave viewers feeling guilty. There is no scientific proof that it can lead to depression. It may be that people more predisposed to such conditions find themselves drawn towards binge-watching to fill a gap that might otherwise be filled with more sociable events.
One of the main issues with prolonged TV watching is that it's a sedentary activity which can lead to issues such as obesity. It could be argued that there is a degree of snobbery involved here. If someone reads a book from cover to cover in one go they're rarely criticised for it, we don't refer to it as binge-reading. Even the using the term "binge" has negative connotations.
The idea that it is somehow bad to be sad when a TV show is finished seems odd. Again, I have felt sad when finishing a book, it is perfectly normal to develop attachments to people in works of fiction. We become invested in their lives, that is why we are compelled to watch and read.
Is binge-watching a bad thing? If you're watching seven hours of TV every evening and it is affecting your ability to function during the day then perhaps you should rethink things. However, we could apply that to any leisure pursuit. As they say, everything in moderation but for now, maybe just one more.....
Job Of The Week
Comprehensive General Manager support including diary, email and travel management.
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On This Day
On this day in 1939 the Dixie Clipper completes the first commercial flight from the United States to Europe.
Chelsea and Clapham favourites The Jam Tree are kicking off their month-long rum bonanza with a barbecue brunch, a steel drum band and lots and lots of cocktails. It promises to be boozy and brilliant. If you miss this weekend, pop down another time until July 31 for tasting masterclasses, rum punches and rum soaked bites to eat. Read more here
Fact Of The Week
Movie trailers were originally shown after the movie, which is why they were called “trailers”.