If you've ever watched an entire season of Orange is the New Black or House of Cards in one weekend or maybe even in just one day, you'll be pleased to know that you are definitely not alone. In a recent survey conducted by Netflix, a whopping 61% of total Netflix subscribers binge-watch their favorite shows on a regular basis. Though it may seem like the norm, scientists and human development professionals seem to believe that binge-watching can be a big threat to our overall health.
So, it has been proven. Netflix may actually be ruining our lives.
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Think about how you felt while catching up on your favorite show. When an episode ends you just can't help but watch another and it feels so good to know you don't have to wait another week for a new episode to be released because you have 3 full seasons at the click of a button. But what about when you actually have to resume to your responsibilities or when you're all caught up on episodes or even worse, when your favorite show comes to an end? Many people have reported feelings of "PBWD," or "Post Binge-Watch Depression," a term invented by Netflix users to explain their sadness after a binge-watching session. Many fellow binge-watchers also say things like "I don't know what to do with my life now" and "I haven't socialized in weeks" once they watch the final season finale of their favorite shows. Let me tell you, it's not easy going back into the "real world" after a long time Netflix leave.
The symptoms felt after finishing a series and going "cold-turkey" off of your favorite show are just as severe as those felt by smokers and alcoholics upon quitting. Netflix is causing a new form of addicts to populate and it may even be increasing their amount of addiction in things outside of TV streaming. Most people describe their feelings while binge-watching as "on a high" or "an escape from the rest of the world" and then relate feelings after binge-watching to anxiety, depression and a desire for more. Binge watchers also report symptoms such as weight gain, low vitamin D and fatigue after a long binge watching session. The side effects of long periods of TV streaming are affecting the minds and bodies of Netflix subscribers everywhere and it is just as serious as many other addictions.
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Some feel that the risks of binge-watching are so severe that they have formed support groups such as the NAA or Netflix Addicts Anonymous to get help for binge-watchers. Meanwhile, others have used their binge-watching addiction to attract potential mates by using dating sites that link people together based on their favorite Netflix shows and how many hours they spend per day watching episodes.
What has our world come to?