Movies and TV
Five Reasons 'Binge-Watching' Is Bad For Us

David Sayers | 5 Aug 2015 17:00
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5. It's Inherently Anti-Social

I may be wasting my time even trying to make this last bit not sound like nagging, but let's all be honest. A human being, healthy of mind and body, needs to be going outside every once in a while. The point is, if you're spending hours, or even days on end, marathoning The Soprano's or all the Bond films (particularly if you're doing this alone in your room), and you're not already cooped up inside for some other reason, then you are being anti-social. Maybe you like it that way, but let's call it what it is. I don't want to sound like I'm directing this at anyone in particular. I'm not going to speculate on the personal lives of people I don't know (and hey, I like my 'me' time as much as anyone). However, if the above applies to you on a not-infrequent basis, then you know who you are, and you should know it's not good for you.

Now, many might say to that there's nothing stopping you from making these tests of endurance a social activity. Movie marathon nights are a thing, right? You and a bunch of friends go to someone's house, and over popcorn and beers (cosplay optional) you power through the entire Harry Potter franchise together. Good times, right? Yeah, I know about them. I've been to a few myself... and they have unwaveringly been awful.

Harry Potter

From a social standpoint, this only works when everyone involved is really just looking for an excuse to spend time with one another, rather than actually being invested in what they're watching. In fact, it invariably helps if the subject matter is universally agreed upon to be terrible. That way, it can become a point of conversation and even humour without ruining everything. That is the one exception to the rule I can see. Otherwise, you are essentially taking all the worst parts of going to the cinema, making it longer, less majestic, and adding a quite frankly offensive ratio of onesies to real clothes. If anyone tries to talk, people who want to listen get mad. If someone needs the bathroom, arguments are started over whether or not play should be paused; and people who could only find space at the edge of the room and can't see anything stew in a ball of resentment all evening. At best, none of that happens, and your numbers are slowly whittled down as people get too bored, too tired, or too drunk. It ends with you alone, a third of the way through Order of the Phoenix, trying to keep your eyes open and acutely aware of just how many times Gary farted.

It's okay; you're safe here. You can admit it... None of you have ever enjoyed one of these, let alone made a new friend at one. Most of us do not watch our favourite shows and movies while in company (I'd argue to an extent that even the entire concept of 'favourite' things is an innately personal, private experience) and even when we do, we are not socially stimulated.

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