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The Pros and Cons of Binge TV

A 25-year-old American recently set the Guinness World Record for most hours he spent watching television. He managed to make it to 94 hours before sleep deprivation inevitably caught up with him..

I recently pulled out my own big TV watch. While it wasn't as impressive as it was for almost four days straight, I did watch all seven seasons of Californication In just five days. There are 84 episodes, almost 42 hours of television. I basically spent more than a third of every day watching Netflix.

I may not have set any records, but I did learn a lot about the pros and cons of compulsive TV watching. A Brief Guide to Binge Watching [Weird &Wonderful Web] A Brief Guide to Binge Watching [Weird &Wonderful Web] Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video have made binge-watching a mainstream mainstay. Before you start binge-watching TV, you need to arm yourself with some important information. This short guide helps. Read more.

PRO:kill quickly

One of the great advantages of binge-watching TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime:Which one should you choose? Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime:Which one should you choose? It's been years since we've compared the big-hit streaming services Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. And with changes in pricing, content, quality, and interface, we thought it was time to take a fresh look. Read More

If you're inching through one of the many original shows on Netflix 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching In 2016 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Watch In 2016 Netflix has released a lot of original content:including House of Cards, Orange is the new Black, Narcos, and Master of None, but 2016 is set to be Netflix's most exciting year yet. Read More Try to sit down and write an article when the next episode of Daredevil is just one click away. It's almost impossible.

By doing as much as possible, oddly enough, you can be more productive. Although I didn't do much work while I was binge Californication Now I am back to my usual productive state. How a simple Pomodoro timer made my life better. How a simple Pomodoro timer improved. My Pomodoro Technique is one of the simplest time management tricks. Break up distractions with the help of 25-minute clips and a timer. It could be a change of routine that will change your life if it suits you. Read more . Instead of being slightly distracted for a few weeks, they completely distracted me for just a few days.

My binge was pretty extreme by any measure not setting world records, but even if you don't have the same level of flexibility with your timing, the point remains. TV shows can take over your life, so getting through one as quickly as possible minimizes the damage to your hygiene, social life, and productivity.

CON:Less Emotional

One of the big problems with binge eating is that you don't really get a chance to think about what has happened. As soon as one episode ends, you move on to the next.

A big part of the anticipation everyone was feeling for the final season of Game of Thrones was that the last series ended on a huge cliffhanger - if you don't know what happened, how do you avoid spoilers? How to avoid Game of Thrones GoT Spoiled spoilers? How to Avoid Game of Thrones Spoilers I managed to avoid Game of Thrones spoilers during season 5. In doing so, I learned how to make sure the internet doesn't ruin your favorite TV show. Read more . As the show has already surpassed the books, even people like me who have been reading A Song of Ice and Fire For years I have no idea what is going to happen next. Over the past nine months, there have been countless articles, online discussions, and cold-water arguments theorizing about what will happen next season.

When you binge watch a show, these highs and lows just don't hit you that hard. You're in the next episode before you can process that "SPOILER is dead" or "CHARACTER A and CHARACTER B finally got together." There is no anticipation.

PRO:See the little things

When you're watching dozens of episodes of a show in a row, you notice little things. Minor characters that appear two seasons later, call back previous episodes, have gags and all the little changes that show a character developing as a person.

The Pros and Cons of Binge TV

Writers, directors, and actors spend years immersed in the shows they create. In the end, they have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of their work. On most shows, this means there are constant minor details that if you're only watching one episode a week, you'll never catch on. Being able to see the little things makes for a much more satisfying viewing experience.

CON:easy to the second screen

As great as it is to see all the minor details repeated between episodes and seasons, seeing the major ones can be irritating. Nearly every TV show goes over plot lines, overuses catchphrases, or just has a character who has an incredibly slow arc. You don't notice these issues as much when you're watching a show on a weekly basis.

The Pros and Cons of Binge TV

When you start to get annoyed by all the repetition, it's very easy to browse Twitter or Facebook on your smartphone. Even when you're watching a new episode of your favorite show, the second screening is a real problem; when you're a little sick of Barney saying, “Legen wait Dario”, you can spend more time on Reddit than actually watching the episode.

PRO:It's so much fun

Let's be honest, the main reason binge-watchers binge is that it's awesome.

Curling up on the couch with a great series and some junk food is a killer way to spend a Saturday. You wouldn't want to do it all the time, but for a couple of days, locking your door, eating takeout, and watching a screen is a lot of fun, although it might drive you a little crazy. I stared at screens for 48 hours and here's what happened... I stared at screens for 48 hours and this is what happened... I recently agreed to do something very stupid:submit to as much screen time as possible for a 48 hour period. How did this experiment affect me? Read on to find out... Read more.

CON:Makes you less social

Excessive staring is an inherently antisocial activity. While you CAN do it with someone else, that involves coordinating schedules and all sorts of other hassles. One person would normally cave in and watch an episode without the other person, and a full-fledged domestic dispute ensues. It's better to go alone.

If, like me, you really get caught up in a show, you'll probably avoid all social occasions until you're done. If you live alone, it's easy to spend a few days where the only people you interact with drive a moped and have the Dominoes Pizza logo on their clothing.

The Pros and Cons of Binge TV

Finally, you can't talk about every new episode with your friends during the week. When Game of Thrones is on, my friends and I will analyze each new episode. And this makes the show more fun.

All of this combines to make binge-watching much less social than watching an episode a week while it airs.


In general, binge-watching TV shows are worth doing once in a while. If you find that you never leave the house, you should consider canceling your Netflix subscription. 7 reasons why you should avoid subscribing to Netflix. 7 reasons why you should avoid subscribing to Netflix. Just as there are downsides to cutting the cord, there are downsides to Netflix. You might consider being a deal breaker. So before you sign up for Netflix, take a moment to consider these blemishes. Read More And you're going to have a blast.

I don't plan on trying to top 94 hours, or just binge-watching every other season of TV for even a moment. That last (and lost) weekend was amazing, but I won't do it too fast again. Binge watching is great, but it has its downsides.

Do you see yourself on TV? What pros and cons have you discovered? Do you agree with my list of pros and cons? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.