Binge-Watching Can Be Hazardous and Lots of Fun
Next Avenue readers' tips on how to safely watch a lot of TV at once
Somehow I have become a binge-watcher, viewing shows one after another like a late-night straggler at an all-you-can-eat TV buffet, feeling digitally hungover the next day, wracked with guilt for all the time wasted following the exploits of a violent, detestable, drug dealer. (Such a great show, isn’t it?)
Of course I know I can quit anytime.
A week later, I sprint through all 12 episodes of Serial, a radio podcast from the makers of This American Life. At least with podcasts you can do something productive like running errands in the car, walking the dog or working.
This binge TV thing seems to be spreading through the household. My husband has been walking around with his phone watching The Wire and True Detective, expressing disgust or shock at the exploits of characters from series I’ve never watched.
What Happened to Us?
Next Avenue readers had lots of advice for those who want to indulge. Among the highlights:
“Pick a night when you don't have to work too early the next morning.” - Lynn
“Be sure to take breaks. Don't watch more than four hours at a time.” - Gin
“Have good snacks in the house. Turn off your phone.” - Kelly
“Don't watch anything too negative or violent right before bedtime.” - Theresa
“Combine it with something else, like ironing or holiday gift-wrapping or exercise, but mostly, don't do it — it's too disruptive to sleep.” - Rebecca
“Forego a real life! [Consider] Depends — the diaper, not "it depends." Recognize that sleep is overrated.” - Kate
“Potato chips, mineral water and my dog all within reach! I will NOT resort to wearing Depends though; even I have my standards!” - Lynn
Readers also cautioned that all that TV-watching has a downside. Here are some of the negatives they shared:
"Felt guilty for wasting so much time, often feel bad for isolating myself.” Sahara
“Headache from too much TV and slight dehydration from not drinking enough water.” - no name given
“On shows I caught up with, I sort of find it frustrating to have to wait to get another episode." - Hilary