You tell yourself “One more episode” and before you know it, you are 5 hours in, all caught up with shows but not so much anything else. On one hand Binge-watching satisfies viewers’ curiosity but on the other hand, It is changing how American college students approach their school work.
With a lot of things on TV fighting for people’s attention, it is easy for students to take more breaks than they should. “A five minute break, means two hours of Friends episodes” Lacey Kirton ’19 said when asked if Binge watching has changed how she studies.
“I tell myself just one more episode” Kirton added and admits that it is easy to get addicted to these shows simply because she can. Trying to get back to work after only 2 episodes is a waste of her time because “you can’t focus on the work” she said.
This shift has changed the way people consume TV and has benefitted a lot of people, but it also has negative impacts. More and more students say that they fall victims of procrastinating their school work to catch up on shows on Netflix or Hulu.
Six episodes in one sitting is the minimum number common amongst viewers but some students admit to watching an entire season during school time. Zavon Billups ’18 said he has binge watched at about 9 episodes in one sitting.
Billups believes that the trend prevent students from giving their best. These habits, he believes takes away from students’ ability to foster good learning habits
In an article with USA Today College, Andrew Goldman, an adjunct professor at the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at the New York University said that college students are more likely to binge-watch because of the flexibility in their schedules compared to adults with families to care for.
Thanks to the technology advancement we see these days, students have access to their favorite shows on their smart phones, making it even easier to get carried away.
In addition to its interference from an educational standpoint, binge-watching is said to have negative health effects. According to an article with the Guardian, research suggest that binge watching can lead to obesity and diseases such as diabetes from inactivity.
Further research by Texas A&M study suggest that binge watching can also be tied to feelings of depression and loneliness. Viewers will often become anti-social and inactive as a result.
More research needs to be conducted seeing that binging is a new behavior but with recent survey results, the article suggest that loneliness or “self-regulation deficiency” are indicators of Binge watching.
Some students recognize that binge watching is addictive so they avoid TV in general. Terrie Anne ‘19 says she easily falls victim of the trend so she only starts TV shows when school is out. “You don’t realize how much time you’re wasting, until you’re done “ she said.
Emma Wagner ‘19 does not watch TV when school is in session and would rather go to the movies instead to resist temptation.
Wagner feels like Binge watching promotes the culture of having everything right away and hinders students from putting in the time required to give their best. “Some assignments take time, and should not be procrastinated” she said.
Some students however found binge watching helpful in keeping them sane with the pressure of being a college student. There is usually a lot of reading and each class’ homework takes at least two hours so the break is well deserved, they say.
These students felt that binge watching is a form of an escape for them. After putting in two hours or more studying, it doesn’t hurt to catch up on your favorite shows.
“Netflix keeps me balanced” Thereza Kalangala ‘18 said, and feels like people exaggerate the idea of binge watching. She says she does her homework first then watches TV. “You can’t just study 24/7, a break doesn’t hurt” she added.