We’ve all heard about the war on drugs and America’s increasing dependence on prescription pills as epidemics. The latest addiction to hit the country’s population won’t land you in rehab but it’s an addiction nonetheless. Binge watching. Come on. You know you’ve done it. You’ve found an old or new series online or on Netflix that has at least a seasons worth of episodes available at the same time and sat and watched a lot more than you’d like to admit.
Harris Interactive conducted a survey that found that half of Americans binge watch TV shows. Half. When you consider that in 2012 only 26.5% of Americans used their free time to volunteer, 50% becomes a more astonishing figure. So why do we binge watch? I like to call binge watching VSS, Veruca Salt Syndrome. We want it NOW! We live in a society where we can get almost anything we want anytime of the day or night. We don’t want to wait to see what happens to our favorite characters when the answer is already available to us.
Some people even wear binge watching as a badge of pride. “I finished all of season 2 of House of Cards the weekend it came out.” Okay so you know what happens to the Underwoods but you know what else? You’re going to have to wait about a year to pick up the story when season 3 is released.
Binge watching doesn’t just effect you, if effects your friends and family. It has probably kept you from being social with other people in your life. If you can’t control your urge and give in to binge watching, limit the number of episodes you allow yourself to watch in a row. If you keep your social life active and stay current with what’s happening with your actual friends you will most likely be able to wait longer to see what happens to your fictional friends. And if you can’t, you might want to consider keeping your addiction to yourself. Just kidding. Kind of.