Life

How My Days of Binge Watching Ended

We now live in a society where the norm is to spend your spare time binge watching your favourite series. The most common subject I see my friends and coworkers discussing is what they’re currently watching, or their latest binge session where they watched more than 5 episodes of something in one night.

Thanks to some of the newer streaming services that only release one episode per week, this has reduced the bingeing, but Netflix and other sources still remain.

Amidst it all, I find myself watching maybe one or two episodes since I prefer to buy or rent, or doing hobbies that require me to actually do something like drawing, writing, reading, gaming, doing jigsaw puzzles, or my adult colouring books. Things that engage my brain.

Not saying that other geeks don’t do any of the things above. Many of the fellow geek bloggers I’ve met enjoy those hobbies as well even if watching TV is their primary interest. Maybe I’m just talking about the mainstream.

I enjoy video games because they tell a story in an interactive way. Anybody who says playing them rots your brain is wrong. Video games make you use your brain in a way like: say you need to defeat a boss or solve a puzzle, you have to think of things like timing your dodge from a certain attack so you don’t take damage or what order should you step on all the tiles so that they all light up without stepping on one of them twice. In a shorter meaning: Strategy.

I used to binge watch series, I did so with The Clone Wars in the summer of 2015. I’m so disappointed that the final season has been put on Disney+ and not Netflix with the rest of it, I don’t want to sign up for another service, even if it’s just for a month. Then there was The Office for nearly all of 2019 with my mom. But after three episodes into the latter, I would get bored.

That’s ADHD for you, my attention span can decrease overtime if I’m not doing something interactive enough!

So why did binge watching become a norm now? Is it because it’s a convenient thing to do once we’ve got home from work and had dinner?

Is it because we feel like we don’t have the time to do something more productive, something that actually requires us to do more than turn on the TV? Like if you wanted to get into knitting or something, that’s too time-consuming for you? Think again, you have all the time in the world when you’re not working, sleeping, or taking care of a loved one: like maybe 3 hours if you get lucky.

If you’re using say, those extra 3 hours just to watch TV, then it’s not that you don’t have time to do a hobby that’s more interactive, it’s that you’re choosing to prioritize watching TV over doing something that engages your brain.

All you have to do is slump onto the couch, open Netflix, Hulu or whatever service you use and away you go until you lose track of time and realize you should go to bed because you have to work tomorrow right? No effort required. Whereas if you wanted to do some sewing you’d have to get the item you want to sew and the box full of the tools you need which takes less than a minute to do. No, instead society wants instant gratification which is what watching TV seems to give us so we don’t have to do any extra tasks to get it. Tasks that are not difficult at all.

Once I realized that, I started using my free time to do things that had me actually doing something, even if it’s typing up a blog post, grinding at Animal Crossing, or sewing a new patch onto my vest. Sure, on some days off or evenings I might want to relax and watch a movie or a couple of episodes of Star Trek, but it’s definitely not something I’d want to do every time my responsibilities are done for the day.

If I have a day off, I get up as early as I can so I can finish any chores or errands so that I could spend the rest of my time playing Darksiders. I enjoy hobbies the most that require me not only to focus but also to think. Often I don’t get around to thinking and processing what happens in a movie until after I finish watching it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching a movie or the next episode of something on Netflix from time to time, but, it’s not something I’d binge at anymore or do everyday.

👽Emily

7 thoughts on “How My Days of Binge Watching Ended”

  1. I hardly ever watch TV now, movies even less, I’m all for a good game or book, but that said I’m usually so drained at the end of the day I can’t actually focus on those things, leaving them relegated to weekend or holiday activities. The reason being precisely because they demand more thought, and when you’re already cognitively fatigued from your work all day plus a short study session doing something that requires more brain use is out. Enter TV and film, that do allow you to relax… Also technically crochet and knitting fit in here since the repetitive actions are soothing and muscle memory takes over. Most people I know crochet whilst watching TV for this reason. So I do understand why people binge watch or just relax end of day in front of a series of film.
    So I don’t think it needs to be defined as rotting your brain, rather a much needed rest for fatigued minds.

    However I do agree on binge watching. Back in my student days I’d binge watch anime, we had to use internet bootlegs since there were no channels that carried it, and crunchyroll was around but was of low quality and didn’t yet have a subscription service, plus our uni network blocked it. Getting new anime was a rush, exchanges with friends took place at intervals when they had enough to share so you’d get whole arcs at a time. Those were binge watched due to the excitement to know and then chat about with friends. We were a very small community, anime was basically unheard of as a medium so being able to talk about the plot development was a treat. Sadly though this difficulty to find anime lent itself to bingeing. We’d rush through it, and it doesn’t lend itself to memorization as the episodes blur into a general pastiche of scenes. I noticed it again subsequently the poor retention of a series if watched quickly as opposed to staggered watching where you have time to reflect more on an episode.
    So wholeheartedly agree binge watching isn’t great.
    Sadly I think it will increase though, as drive to consume content increases bingeing will be more normal, in order to keep up with what is of general social interest. But such is the nature of our generally gregarious species.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to take breaks between watching episodes too so I can process what happened too. I have a movie review coming up for something I watched 2 days ago but I’m trying to get some other articles out of the way while I brainstorm what this review will have.

      That being said, I never said it rots your brain. Personally, I find my job exhausting mentally as well, but due to my anxiety, it’s easy for me to dwell on the events of the day, even if I am watching TV. But, if I play video games, I make my brain concentrate on something else completely. If that’s too exhausting ,then I’ll read a book

      Like

  2. I have trouble paying attention to TV as well, unless I’m doing something else at the same time. I always have Netflix running while playing MOBAs or other games that aren’t story-focused, or while working on some cosplay project that doesn’t require noisy tools.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find myself texting or working on a blpg post via the app if I try to watch say more than two episodes nowadays. Then there’s my 3DS and my adult colouring books. We like productivity and we’re proud of it. I wish I had the handiness to do a cosplay from scratch. My only cosplay was all bought.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nothing wrong with buying a cosplay instead of spending months cursing and inhaling toxic fumes… but I can tell you that I wasn’t handy in the slightest before I started making cosplays and I still hate sewing machines with a burning passion.

        Liked by 1 person

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