Binge Watching: It’s Not All Bad Is It?

The latest trend in viewing TV can have both positive and negative affects on you, your studies and your health.
October 5, 2017
7 mins read

Binge watching shows, movies and TV in general has become a common phenomenon for people of all ages. Binge watching, by definition, is classified as watching several episodes (even movies) in quick succession. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear students walking around campus talking about binge watching Game of Thrones or Master of None.

Watching episode after episode (or movie after movie) does have an effect on your life, though. Many believe that those effects are negative, but if you play your cards right and figure out how to manage your binge watching, it’s not all bad.

Most people think of those who binge watch TV as lazy and that doing so is a harmful and bad activity. The word “binging,” or “binge” itself, is usually connected to things such as binge eating or binge drinking, which are not normally thought of as good past times.

This causes people to automatically associate the pastime with the negative connotations of anything dealing with binging. And, while in some circumstances it can definitely have bad consequences, it is not always necessarily the case when it comes to continuously watching shows or movies.

Speeding through a series actually isn’t nearly as bad as most people assume. In fact, studies show that at least 73 percent of people polled admitted that they have positive feelings about binge watching streamed TV content.

Choosing to binge watch something happens because you want to enjoy more of what you already know you like, but it can get out of hand if you aren’t careful. Students, especially, can

be affected, in a good or bad way when it comes to binge watching. It can have a large effect on their lives in general as well as how they deal with everyday school life.

Here you’ll see a list of both the good and the bad that binge watching can cause college students.

The Good

1. Binging can relieve stress.

Why is it that you are tempted to binge watch something in the first place? You want to escape. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with everything that college is throwing at you and you need a break. Binge watching can provide that. It is basically diving into a story and getting lost in it for a while. It can help you recharge and then come back to reality with fresher eyes.

2. Binging with a friend or partner can actually bring you closer to them.

Watching TV together isn’t a new pastime (Image via Digital Spy)

Falling into a plot line with someone can help you both relate better. It helps you build a better connection as now you’d have something you can share and enjoy between the two of you.

3. Pure enjoyment.

You wouldn’t bother binge watching a show if you didn’t think it was good and fun to watch. The fact that you decided to binge more than likely means it’s a good show, which can prove to be a good experience for you. Shows are becoming better and more intricate as time goes by and enjoying them to their fullest capacity is not a crime.

The Bad

1. It takes up a lot of time.

On average, most TV show episodes are around thirty to forty-five minutes long (with some exceptions). So watching multiple episodes in one go guarantees that you are going to be in front of a screen for quite some time. Time that could otherwise be used a little more productively, like doing homework or studying.

2. It can be addictive.

Too much TV can hinder your studies (Image via Poets and Quants)

If it becomes an activity that you begin to do constantly, it will begin to get in the way of your daily life. It can get in the way of your studies, your grades, and can make your life difficult. It can become just as bad as any other addiction.

3. Your health will be affected in a negative way.

Not moving around for a long period of time can increase your chances of health risks and it can affect your performance at school or otherwise. Binge watching can cause things like heart disease and diabetes because of the lack of movement. It sounds like a stretch, but bad health is a possibility if sitting for too long becomes a routine.

As a college student, you have many responsibilities, and it’s understandable that it can make you want to get out of your head every once in a while. Binge watching TV can provide that outlet.

But you can’t forget that you are, in fact, a college student as well. It all comes down to being able to manage your time and gauge how much of it can be used for binging TV.

Binge watching TV isn’t going to stop anytime soon. People enjoy the new and exciting outlet of completely losing oneself in a story. It can actually be not only helpful, but also a fun experience like it was always meant to be. It’s not all bad like most people assume, you just have to be able and willing to manage it.

Valeria Garcia, University of Texas at Austin

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Valeria Garcia

University of Texas at Austin
English Major, Creative Writing Minor

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