Ever since the beginning pandemic, the term binge watching has become a buzzword. As people were largely confined indoors, most of their entertainment activities were restricted within their homes. With sports shows cancelled or postponed, people relied on binge-watching shows through various OTT apps for fulfilling their entertainment quotients. Binge watching is a result of culture of boredom that emerged during lockdown.
While many might be unaware of the latest developments in regional cinema, they are sure to know when the next season of Stranger Things (season 4) is set to release on Netflix. It would not be a strech to say that the growth of OTTs is now challenging the traditional media platforms such as radio and television. Now amidst the ongoing global pandemic, these OTTs have firmly established their place as the Number 1 entertainment option.
According to a survey, millenials and Gen-z form the core among the subscribers of OTT apps. Online Gaming and Binge watching were the main source of entertainment among the millenials and GenZ even before the onset of pandemic. Genz are more technology crazy when it comes to binge watching and binge gaming.
Now the next question, is binge-watching any good? As with every activity, it has its share of pros and cons. In this post, we shall see the pros and cons of binge watching
Pros of Binge watching
1. Shared Space
Binge-watching a series fosters a sense of community among people. Experts call it belonging to some shared cultural space. We’ve seen boards and forums where people passionately discuss and analyze the characters and plots of their favorite shows. This active space allows the viewers to connect with other people and find common ground
2. Relieves Stress
Stress is the number one killer among all the diseases. Sadly, not enough focus is given on the mental health of people, which is paving way for a compounding effect with stress opening the doors of many other diseases. Research indicates watching your favorite shows releases dopamine in the brain which can neutralize the excess cortisol, the harmone primarily responsible for stress. Binge-watching a series gives the user a feeling of power and control.
While binge-watching, a viewer can feel himself compulsively immersed into the storyline which gives them a sense of fulfillment. Shows tailored for binge watching like GOT, Stranger Things, Money Heist have engaging storylines, complex plots, and most of all endearing characters that people can relate to in their personal lives.
Binge watching creates a sense of fulfillment more than watching the shows weekly. Also, the platform and kind of marketing matters a lot for a show. For example, Cobra Kai when released in YouTube Red did not have much takers despite the good reviews. However, when it made a leap to Netflix for season 3, quickly skyrocketing to find a place within the top 5 shows made available in the platform.
Cons of Binge watching
While binge watching a show can be fulfilling, however, it is only till the conclusion of the shows. Unfortunately, soap-operas or shows, does not have the same effect of re-watching like movies. So, when a show ends, the viewers are left with a sense of emptiness. Since the idea of anticipation for the show next week is absent with binge watching, viewers are not satisfied and are always looking for more. A study also reveals a contradictory report which states that binge watching can cause stress as people rue over the time lost after the conclusion of series.
2. Health complications
Binge watchers are extremely prone to binge-eating unhealthy foods. Sitting or slouching over a long period of time results in decreased metabolism and ultimately paves ways for lifestyle oriented diseases which could spiral to deadly consequences. Also, binge watching is proven to cause insomnia and fatigue.
3. Missing Priorities.
Binge-watching can make the viewers neglect their priorities and can even cause a friction in the relationship. Binge watching can cause addiction similar to drugs and alcohol as both create neuron pathways that produce pleasure.