Science Confirms That Binge Watching Is Actually A Healthy Thing

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Binging on a TV series brings with it a whole host of varying emotions.

At first there’s the excitement and anticipation of watching a show that’s on everyone’s lips, followed by an addiction where everything else becomes secondary, including sleeping and going outside, ending with the inevitable depression and guilt when all of it’s over and you know that you will never get those hours back or fill that void again (until the next series you watch).

*Sigh*

But, in what will certainly be music to all fellow bingers’ ears, Elizabeth Cohen, a communications professor at West Virginia University, has claimed that there’s really no need to feel so guilty when you finish that last episode.

In a recent post on The Conversation she wrote: “Even though watching TV gets a bad rap as the ‘junk food of media diets,’ it can be good for you — as long as you give yourself permission to indulge.”

Like any healthy diet I suppose, it’s about balance; maintaining that ideal state (that I find so difficult), in being productive but also finding the time to kick back, chill out and enjoy the best of what the streaming world has to offer.

Cohen also added: “When individuals binge watch, they are thought to have what’s called a ‘flow experience.’ Flow is an intrinsically pleasurable feeling of being completely immersed in a show’s storyline.”

This ‘flow experience’ is also said to have many other benefits than just pleasure, with author and media theorist Stephen Johnson writing in The New York Times:

“Think of the cognitive benefits conventionally ascribed to reading: attention, patience, retention, the parsing of narrative threads.

Over the last half-century, programming on TV has increased the demands it places on precisely these mental faculties.”

So in future whether it’s your parents, a partner, or that responsible little voice inside your own head urging you to cut down on binge watching, just tell them that science says it’s good for you.

Let us know what you think in the comments! 

Images via iSTock

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