Show of hands, how many of you spend more than three hours a day watching TV series? In my case three hours a day is considered a slow day.
Netflix analysed viewers of more than 20 shows from 16 countries; the data revealed at which episode the viewers fell down the rabbit hole. None of the viewers were ever hooked on the pilot episode. Dramas like ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘The Killing’ took the viewer two episodes to get them hooked, while ‘Arrow’ and ‘How I met your mother’ took up to eight episodes. Essentially, the ‘hooked’ episode pinpoints the episode that got viewers to start binge watching.
Earlier this year, a survey was conducted at the University of Texas to study the connection between binge TV watchers and depression. The research revealed that “the more lonely and depressed the study participants were, the more likely they were to binge-watch TV”. Watchers use their shows as a getaway from reality, however; it becomes unhealthy when it interrupts daily schedules.
Watching one episode of ‘Homeland’ or ‘The Walking Dead’ can offer you the mental break you were looking for. While ‘normal’ functioning people spend an hour but what about the rest of the people, like myself, who get too comfortable and end up watching the entire series of ‘Office’ in a month? Moderation is incomprehensible. A fun break from reality can easily be abused and turned into an addiction.
The sedentary lifestyle commonly known as the ‘potato couch’ syndrome is almost always allied with an all-night marathon TV session. Not to neglect mentioning the late-night snacks combined with sitting or laying down for hours has its toll on the body fat accumulating. It can then result in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Other noticeable health symptoms are the undeniable headaches and eye strains from staring at the blue screen for hours.
Side effects of pulling off an all-nighter emerge the next day when the level of productivity decreases, accompanied by the short attention span and irritability from lack of sleep.
I cannot count on the number of times I postponed or cancelled a social gathering. An iPad next to me, a cup of tea in one hand and the other holding a chocolate bar will always win over dressing up and leaving the house for a girls night out.
The first step to recovery, as the saying goes, is admitting you have a problem. What worked for me is setting a time and sticking to it. Have a plan for the next day.
My original article is posted in Gulf news your views page