Last week a head cold invaded my life. When ill, my general tendency is to work anyway and power through. However, I decided to give myself a break and watch television. This, in itself, is unusual, because I’m a reader. My weekly viewing habits are a short section of the Today Show, the evening news, and two prime-time shows–NCIS and NCIS New Orleans.
Cuddled in bed, I zoomed in on Amazon Prime and decided to watch Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, breezing through two seasons in three days. (I really wanted to watch Mad Men, but I was too cheap to pay for it, and Mrs. Maisel was free.) And is it ever set up for benders! One show ends; the next starts immediately. Apparently, I’m not the only one who engages in this activity. More than half of TV streamers regularly binge-watch, viewing two to six episodes in a sitting.
After much thought, I realized the last time I had actually held a tube marathon was in the 1980s. One weekend, exhausted, I laid on a blanket on the floor and watched a miniseries I had saved on the VCR! I think it was Peter The Great, but I can’t be sure.
And it’s probably a good thing I don’t indulge often. Do you realize how dangerous it can be? According to Readers Digest:
- If you watch more than three hours of TV a day, you double your risk for premature death! Purportedly, it is best to take an exercise break between episodes.
- The danger of becoming obsessed is present; you can become addicted and neglect other aspects of your life.
- Snacking while watching can lead to mindless overeating.
- Isolation can be an issue because fifty-six percent of bingers prefer to watch alone, and most of it is done at home.
- The activity reduces the pleasure of anticipation as there’s no call to gather around the television to see where the cliffhanger left off. Remember how long we had to wait to find out who shot JR in the Dallas series?
- The sport is time-consuming. Five days to watch all seven seasons of The West Wing? Really?