What is binge watching and why is it dangerous

Binge watching is a term that has spread with video streaming platforms and indicates the action of watching consecutive episodes of a TV series

Every year the Italian dictionary introduces new words from English: startup, privacy, CEO, just to name a few. For some time now, a new term has also spread: binge watching. The term is mainly related to the spread of streaming video platforms. Netflix and Amazon Prime video for example.

In fact, translating the term into Italian, it would sound more or less like "binge watching". Making a little more complete the meaning, the term binge watching indicates the consecutive viewing of many episodes of a TV series (5, 10, 15 depending on the duration). In the English vocabulary, the word binge watching has always existed, but only with the arrival of services such as Netflix has begun to circulate in Italy. But binge watching can be a dangerous practice for our body and our health: spending too many hours in front of the TV or PC screen can lead to sleep disorders.

What is binge watching

If the term in English can create some problems, binge watching can also be translated into Italian as "television marathons". Especially in the summer is normal to find on Saturday or Sunday on the television schedules "marathon" of a TV series, or the transmission of all episodes of a season one after another. With the arrival of Netflix "TV marathon" has been replaced by binge watching, but the meaning is the same.

What binge watching has really changed, is not so much the way to enjoy a TV series, but how the episodes are constructed and how they are distributed. To make sure that the viewer doesn't take his eyes off the TV screen, the TV series is constructed as if it were a movie that lasts 10-15 hours, divided into episodes. And thanks to the final cliffhanger, the user only has to watch the next episode. In addition, all episodes of a season are released at the same time, without respecting the typical weekly television schedules.

The explosion of binge watching

Although the term has always existed in the Anglo-Saxon world, it has returned in vogue with the launch on Netflix of House of Cards first and then the fourth season of Arrested Development. In particular, Arrested Development was produced in such a way that each episode was linked to the previous one, making it impossible to divide the content into blocks. A real movie divided into fifteen episodes.

The dangers of binge watching

Although millions of people practice the art of binge watching, this does not mean that it is healthy. In fact, far from it. Binge watching is very dangerous to a person's body and health. Continuous television watching leads to a sedentary life. According to some medical research, living too sedentary a life increases the chances of a heart attack. In addition, being in front of a screen for too long, dehydrates and irritates the eyes. Another effect of binge watching is sleep disturbance and relationship problems. Watching for fifteen to twenty hours in a row a TV series makes you lose track of time and also worsens social relationships with other people.