Binge watching is Australia's new favourite pastime. I mean, what could be better than plopping on the couch to watch a TV show from start to finish in the course of a day? But one study is trying to ruin the magic for everyone.
Nothing ruins getting to bed on time like a good binge-watching session. If you want avoid those late nights and lost afternoons, these are the shows that are most likely to keep your eyes glued to the screen, according to Netflix.
You probably already knew that binge watching all day long isn't the best for your health since, you know, moving around is good for you or whatever. But a new study from the University of Melbourne is going so far to suggest that binge watching TV shows can actually make them less enjoyable overall. According to the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal First Monday, binge watching affects both your long-term memory and how much you like a show.
Study participants who were asked to binge watch programs experienced strong memory formation immediately after viewing, but those memories of what they watched decayed more rapidly when compared to participants who watched shows on a daily or weekly basis. So, if you want to remember what you're watching, it's best to give your brain some time to breathe and reflect on what you saw. Otherwise, people will ask you what you thought the new season of that super popular show and all you'll be able to say is, "I think I liked it..."
Binge watching participants also rated their experiences as less enjoyable when compared to those who spaced viewings out. This isn't the first study to make this claim, either. One study from the Journal of Consumer Research suggests the faster you consume TV shows the less joy you get out of them. It makes sense — too much of anything is likely to make it less interesting and less exciting. For example, amusement park rides are fun, but if you sit on the same ride all day it loses its charm.
Vegging out in front of the TV can be a fun activity for a lazy Sunday, but while you're binge-watching every episode of Jessica Jones, your weekend is passing you by. On Monday you'll wonder where all that time went that you'd planned to use to fix up the house, read a book, and hang out with friends.
Ideally, pacing yourself helps you pay better attention to what you're watching, remember it more, and thus, enjoy it more. You have time to think, come up with your own theories, and build up that all-powerful anticipation for the next episode, which makes it more engrossing when it's finally time to watch. But whatever, I'm going to keep binge watching. Now if you'll excuse me, I have Bojack Horseman, Narcos, Portlandia, and my 20th watch-through of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia to get to.