The future of television is here. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have pushed competition aside as they give customers an original experience in the way we look at TV. Binge-Watching has become "The New Normal" in how we watch our favorite shows. Today, it's not uncommon to knock out a season of House of Cards in one sitting. In fact, Xfinity's Watchathon Week, where for seven days you can catch up on every season of your favorite big name shows encourages such behavior. But when does binging go too far?
First, how much television makes you a binge-watcher? Researchers have defined binge-watching as two to five consecutive hours of television. On Netflix, the prompt 'Are you still watching?' appears only after 4 or 5 episodes of nonstop playing. This is so if you aren't, Netflix can stop streaming the show and you can resume where you left off later.
After hours of watching, I welcome this break because it allows me a self-care moment. I do a mental check of my needs and then act on them. This could be anything from eating to getting ready for bed. This also determines whether I keep binging as well. If a show becomes overwhelming and I need a moment to reflect, I stop watching. If I'm excited about the next story arc and can go a few more episodes, then I do. What's important is I do what's best for me, and so should you.
Television is sometimes seen as lazy and unproductive, and with that comes a feeling of guilt when watching for long hours at a time. Truth is, everyone unwinds differently and many people find solace in the complicated plot lines, complex characters, and various timelines that come with this new age of television. So, are you still watching?