Why can’t I just watch one simple episode of a program on Netflix? It seems simple to me. How does one sitting down at 9pm turn into a 2am venture? I almost feel out of control and in need of some help. Maybe there is something going on outside of just my weakness to walk away from the television. I thought I would investigate.
It’s actually called Binge-watching, also binge-viewing or marathon viewing. It is the practice of watching television for a long time span, usually a single television show. My definition of Binge-watching is being stuck in a timeless trance like state plastered to the television hopelessly determined to see how this thing will play out.
I have good news!! You are not crazy, careless, and out of control. There are other reasons why we binge-watch and it’s not our fault. Dopamine and Serotonin are to blame. I feel better already.
According ThriveWireContributor, one reason is due to the fact that we perceive watching television as a task and our parents taught us to finish what we start. It’s really our parents fault!! Naturally, as we finish a task, our body releases dopamine. Dopamine is the control center for rewards, so we innately want more of this. It’s not that I want to stay glued to a television and ignore all of the other important responsibilities in life, I work for rewards. One way of receiving more dopamine while still watching Netflix is to finish the series of that show. I am not a quitter and winner’s don’t quit!! Two cheers for finishers!! Who cares about four hours of sleep down the drain? I’m winning!! Here is a dose of dopamine!! Mmmm don’t it feel good.
Not only is Dopamine to blame, but also Serotonin. It was also found that during the night, bright lights increase our serotonin levels. Serotonin is a mood stabilizer, so again, naturally, our bodies want more of this. I don’t want TV, I want to stabilize my mood. This would explain why so many of us binge well into the night, opposed to binging during the daytime. In my opinion, my watching television is making the world a better place.
Due to recent realizations of the neurological reasons as to why we binge- watch, writers have taken this into account and have written episodes with the knowledge that we will most likely watch and want to watch more than one episode at a time. They writers create episodes similar to how a book would be considered a page turner. They do this by filling episodes with a lot of action, high levels of intrigue, building storylines, and ending with plot twists.
In conclusion, there is no need to feel bad about staying up late at night unable to stop watching a show. I call it the “Battle of the Binge.” I am really proud of you for staying stuck to the TV. All this time I thought I was being selfish when in reality I am just built to finish what I start and have a great mood while doing it!!