November 2018 | Matilda Page
DO YOU ever have one of those lazy days where all you do is lie in bed and binge your favourite television show? By “binge” I mean watch multiple episodes of a TV show straight after one another. Well, so do young people. Some may believe the stereotype and think that’s all they ever do, but there could be reasons behind this.
I talked to several young people from the Meander Valley area, asking them if they have ever “binged” a show. This is what they said: “Binge watching isn’t really a thing for me... I only binge watch very rarely. Like when I’m having trouble sleeping or in a really bad mental state. Binge watching TV shows kind of takes my mind off of what’s going on in life and puts me in a better mood.” I’m sure everyone has experienced something similar to this, and we all have our own ways of dealing with emotions and anxiety.
For some, watching a TV show is their way of dealing with it. It could also be considered that binge watching is healthier than taking medication to calm anxiety. Another teen said that “sometimes it’s easier to sit down and immerse yourself in a really good show than try and socialise.” A few others said that usually it’s a really good show and they just can’t, or don’t want to, stop watching.
One also said she did it as procrastination, something I know we are all guilty of doing. A college student commented in regards to why young people binge watch shows saying, “with all the pressure felt by students, they somewhat rebel against the attitudes of their parents, teachers... and rather than doing their homework, [they] binge watch Netflix shows for six hours straight. Sites such as Netflix are an escape for young people, whether it be from school, friendship issues, family circumstances... With the fast pace of society, there is additional stress felt by young people than those of a decade ago, which is why our generation are so fixated on binge-watching our favourite shows.”
For these reasons, or others, young people binge watch TV shows. It may not let us develop social skills; however, like some young people have said, binge watching can help to calm anxiety and escape from the pressures of life. Some adults may not realise that there are deeper reasons, but hopefully you do now.