Most of the working world outline their daily activities as work, sleep and TV.
It’s hard not to see the appeal, really: kicking back after a long day, coffee in hand, spending hours willingly sandwiched between your laptop and your comfy couch watching a quarter season of your favorite television show.
Even higher are the American viewers. Majority of them confess they’re perfectly happy with the time they spend. The Middle East, just like the West, has seen binge-watching develop from being a pastime to a norm – Makes you feel better? Brace yourself.
Here are the notable risks of regular TV binging, with some small changes you could make to dodge the bullet:
1. Higher risk of diabetes and heart disease
Research over the decade shows binge-watching craze has strong ties to weight-gain, and even chronic diseases such as obesity, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, snowballing to more ill-health.
The above study also revealed how participants who choose to be active instead of, or even while streaming TV shows (maybe on a treadmill or during some light workouts?) have far less signs of any illnesses associated with inactivity.
2. Could become an addiction
It’s hard to think of a substance that provides pleasure that hasn’t been capitalized, and ultimately not caused an addiction in people.
It’s important to realize if you are, and cut down before you find yourself shrugging responsibilities, losing your job and sanity by giving entertainment priorities over your daily deeds.
3. Eats at a healthy social life
Being a rather isolating activity, binge-watching TV could cost you an otherwise happening social life.
Talking to a fellow fan about the show is a worthy distraction that complements your social life, and allows a break from the mindlessness of the binge. Nowadays, TV shows are not without powerful characters that influence us, making it possible for passionate viewers to have endless conversations.
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4. More anxiety and depression in heavy binge-watchers
Do you binge on TV to escape unhappiness, or does the excessive TV watching lead to it?
It’s hard to speculate but it’s certainly a cycle we can snap out of by immersing ourselves into a less destructive distraction.
5. You’re less alert, even when the TV is off
Hours spent watching TV while sitting idle makes you feel more ‘relaxed and passive’, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if it didn’t accompany your time outside of TV.
A survey by Scientific American studied response times of people who binge-watched to those who didn’t, and unsurprisingly confirmed that TV-bingers have ‘significantly lower mental stimulation’, and ‘TV has somehow absorbed or sucked out their energy, leaving them depleted, yet restless’.
Sleep better by: Taking a Thought Vacation
6. Your sleep cycle goes for a toss
Binge-watching could be an affair for any time of day, but it’s often before we sleep that we humor ourselves with something engaging on a screen. The necessary melatonin levels in the body to fall asleep drop due to the prolonged blue light from screens, and cause us staying awake longer.
Research at Brigham University and Womens’ Hospital found recently that
7. It ultimately ruins the shows we watch
Apart from the health effects of binge-watching, the spirit of entertainment is pulled apart by how we consume TV today. Months of work and talent go into producing important storylines, plot twists or cliffhangers and blow past us in minutes, denying us the proper experience as intended by the show’s architects.
Will Smith cleverly expressed:
“Binge-watching is like putting a drive-through window on an art museum”,
pointing out how it allows patrons to appreciate the art in a glimpse, but without embracing the experience.
8. And if we still haven’t convinced you, here’s some people that might.
Click the ‘here’ in the title, folks.
How often do you binge-watch TV? Tell us in the comments below.
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