I am writing this as I am binge watching SG1 so it inspired me.
Binge watching has been claimed by various studies to both be good and harmful to us. In the good column is a study that showed that watching the same episode again lead to relaxation. In the harmful column is a study that shows that people who are depressed or lonely watch lots of tv shows.
So what is the truth? I think the truth is that many people are depressed and lonely and that this is just another sign of it. I think that the reason that people use drugs, do dangerous things and not take care of themselves is a lack of self-love.
Is this really a surprise? In a culture where we are judged by our possessions and outward appearances, that people would feel that they can’t measure up? How can we say that capitalism is not without its harmful effects? What is a reasonable standard of living? Is it one in which we have our needs meet, or one in which we continuously need more to feel good?
So binge watching is just another way for a culture of excess to express itself. It used to be with radio shows that you would gather around the radio at night to listen to the radio show. It was your imagination and it was the highlight of peoples entertainment at the time. Now we have multimedia in a way that previous generations can’t even conceive like VR and we are still record rates of unhappiness.
I think we binge watch because we are trying to fill a bottomless need. We feel that we need to consume, to always experience variety to be happy. What I have learned is that often I am the happiest when I am not trying to be happy. It sounds strange I know, but to give up your sense of wanting to be happy enables you to be happy.
Happiness it not in doing something, it is in being something. Just be comfortable with being who you are and you can take or leave binge watching.