What Binge-Watching Really Does To Your Brain

It’s normal to determine the quality of a show by how “bingeable” it is. If it’s a really good show, we’re willing to spend hours a day glued to the TV watching it. Ever since streaming services took over, binge-watching is how millions of people today consume their favorite content.

But, too much of anything can be a problem. Predictors of problematic binge-watching include:

  • impulse control difficulties
  • lack of premeditation (difficulties in planning and evaluating the consequences of a given behavior)
  • watching to escape and forget about problems
  • watching to avoid feeling lonely
  • Problematic binge-watching has also been associated with depression, anxiety around social interaction, and loneliness.

The bottom line? If you enjoy spending your Saturday afternoons binge-watching your favorite show like “The Office” or “The Ranch,” then go for it. However, if you notice that your binge-watching habits are starting to take over your life, cut down on the number of episodes you watch in one sitting. Turn the show off mid-way through an episode. Most episodes end in a cliff-hanger and will have you wanting more. Stop watching during a boring, less-climatic part of the episode and come back to it another day.


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