The New York times and other outlets have been publicizing the recent Netflix release of House Of Cards, and talking about the related phenomenon of Media Binging- the unrestrained devouring of a few seasons worth of Breaking Bad, Walking Dead and other hit series in one sitting.
This got us to thinking- Is Media Binging real? Is It a problem?
To most people, media binging brings to mind a self-destructive and unrestrained content consumption bout lasting for at least a couple of days during which time the heavily involved watcher “drops out” by not working, ignoring responsibilities, squandering money, and engaging in other harmful behaviors such as fighting for the remote or watching Teen Mom marathons.
These may be the telltale signs that you have a Media Binging problem. Have you ever:
- watched more than three episodes in one sitting?
- felt guilty about how much content you’re consuming?
- lied about having watched Jersey Shore?
- found that your content consumption just creeps up on you- starts with an episode of House, and then leads to an all out rewatching of the entire four seasons of The Wire?
- woken up in the middle of the night, in someone else’s apartment, and you don’t know what episode you’re up to?
- watch alone?
- let responsibilities slide, like paying your bills or bathing?
- stay up late to watch ‘one more episode’, while your partner has gone to bed?
- watch an episode while it’s still downloading?
- watch second screen material while watching the main series on the TV?
- find that watching whole genres of content at one time has affected your work, or relationships?
- find that you’re starting to talk to people with an accent like the Dowager Countess, or in street slang like Jessie Pinkman?
Has your media consuption ever led to:
- people close to you becoming concerned about your Winterfell fan fiction?
- live tweeting while watching a series?
- review TV shows for the Huffington Post?
- tweet spoilers without the requisit SPOILER ALERT notice?
- want to re-watch LOST again, to get the magic back?
Increasing public information and awareness regarding the risks of media binging, conducting interviews of young people suspected of harmful media consumption patterns during DVD boxed set sales and trying to persuade them to accept individual counseling in media addiction counseling services are effective strategies for reducing the harm of media binging.