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Anatoly Terentyev
Anatoly Terentyev


Most people who binge drink are not dependent on alcohol.3 However, binge drinking is harmful on its own. It is associated with serious injuries and diseases, as well as with a higher risk of alcohol use disorder.3



Almost everyone overeats on occasion, such as having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal. But for some people, excessive overeating that feels out of control and becomes a regular occurrence crosses the line to binge-eating disorder.

When you have binge-eating disorder, you may be embarrassed about overeating and vow to stop. But you feel such a compulsion that you can't resist the urges and continue binge eating. If you have binge-eating disorder, treatment can help.

Unlike a person with bulimia, after a binge, you don't regularly compensate for extra calories eaten by vomiting, using laxatives or exercising excessively. You may try to diet or eat normal meals. But restricting your diet may simply lead to more binge eating.

If you have any symptoms of binge-eating disorder, seek medical help as soon as possible. Binge-eating problems can vary in their course from short-lived to recurrent or they may persist for years if left untreated.

Talk to your medical care provider or a mental health professional about your binge-eating symptoms and feelings. If you're reluctant to seek treatment, talk to someone you trust about what you're going through. A friend, loved one, teacher or faith leader can help you take the first steps to successful treatment of binge-eating disorder.

A person with binge-eating disorder may become an expert at hiding behavior, making it hard for others to detect the problem. If you have a loved one you think may have symptoms of binge-eating disorder, have an open and honest discussion about your concerns.

Japanese manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump developed a successful formula of publishing individual manga chapters and then compiling them into separate standalone tankōbon volumes that could be "binged" all at once. This Jump formula produced major Japanese pop culture hits such as Dragon Ball (1984 debut), One Piece (1997 debut) and Naruto (1999 debut). According to Matt Alt of The New Yorker, "Jump presaged the way the world consumes streaming entertainment today."[10]The practice of binge-watching was previously called marathon-watching. Early examples of this practice include marathon viewing sessions of imported Japanese anime shows on VHS tapes in anime fandom communities during the late 1970s to 1980s,[11][12] and Nickelodeon's Nick at Nite which broadcast multiple episodes from Donna Reed and Route 66 in July 1985.[13]The usage of the word "binge-watching" was popularized with the advent of on-demand viewing and online streaming. In 2013, the word burst into mainstream use to describe the Netflix practice of releasing seasons of its original programs simultaneously, as opposed to the industry standard model of releasing episodes on a weekly basis.[14]In November 2015, the Collins English Dictionary chose the word "binge-watch" as the word of the year.[15]At the beginning of the 2020 pandemic, there was a noticeable surge of Netflix binge watching.[16] Lockdown made it so that those stuck at home turned towards spending their time catching up and re-watching television series. In a comparison study, Bridget Rubenking observed that traditional appointment viewing had decreased from 2015 to 2020.[17] Rubenking noted that all three types of viewing, binge watching, serial viewing, and appointment viewing, were at an all-time high during the start of the pandemic.[17] These circumstances contributed to a rise in the number of individuals who adopted these habits.

Actor Kevin Spacey used the 2013 MacTaggart Lecture to implore television executives to give audiences "what they want when they want it. If they want to binge, then we should let them binge". He claimed that high-quality stories will retain audience's attention for hours on end, and may reduce piracy,[18] although millions still download content illegally. Binge-watching "complex, quality TV" such as The Wire and Breaking Bad has been likened to reading more than one chapter of a novel in one sitting, and is viewed by some as a "smart, contemplative way" of watching TV.[19] A recent study found that while binge-watching, people feel "transported" into the world of the show, which increases their viewing enjoyment, makes them binge-watch more frequently and for longer.[20]

ITV Director of Television Peter Fincham warned that binge-watching erodes the "social value" of television as there are fewer opportunities to anticipate future episodes and discuss them with friends.[21] Nevertheless, research has shown that heavy binge-watching does not necessarily mean less social engagement. One study found quite the opposite, reporting that heavy binge-watchers spent more time in interactions with friends and family on a daily basis than non-binge-watchers. Heavy binge-watchers are used by others as sources of opinion about what shows to watch and they often engage in conversations about TV shows both offline and online.[22]

Research published by media scholar, Dr. Anne Sweet, Ph.D., underlines that binge-watching is a form of compulsive consumption, similar to binge-eating, or binge-drinking, and that due to its addictive aspects, it could even represent a form of TV addiction.[25] These findings were problematized by Pittman and Steiner (2019), who found that "the degree to which an individual pays attention to a show may either increase or decrease subsequent regret, depending on the motivation for binge-watching."[26]

Research conducted by media scholar Dr. Emil Steiner, Ph.D., at Rowan University isolated five motivations for binge-watching (catching up, relaxation, sense of completion, cultural inclusion, and improved viewing experience). The author concludes that while compulsiveness is possible, most binge-viewers have an ambivalent relationship with the nascent techno-cultural behavior.[27] Furthermore, he argues that the negotiation of control in binge-watching is changing our understanding of television culture.[28]

Research conducted by Technicolor lab in 2016 found that a binge-watching session does increase the probability of another binge-watching session in the near future. In the meantime, the majority of people will not immediately have another binge-watching session. This indicates that binge-watching is not a consistent behavior for real-world video-on-demand consumers.[2]

Conversely, some streaming service original shows may be negatively affected if viewers do not binge watch-them. Many viewers of the Netflix original series The Sandman watched episodes more slowly, but Netflix measures viewer engagement only over the first 28 days after release. This led to uncertainty over whether the series would be renewed for a second season, though it eventually was renewed.[30][31]

In March 2020, memes surrounding binge watching while stuck in lockdown circulated the internet.[34] The collective experience of living in a pandemic led to a number of people online to indulge in sharing memes.

Within the television industry, speculation emerged in the early 2020s that binge watching a new series could make a series less memorable in the long term compared to shows released on a more traditional schedule; various streaming providers, lead by Disney+, have had success releasing some of their original series on a weekly schedule, in contrast to the Netflix model which is most aggressive among the streaming providers in releasing episodes all at once. Showrunners have increasingly requested that their programs not be released in bulk as a creative decision.[37]

Binge watching can be attributed to "the bored body problem," which Tina Kendall explains as the phenomenon of individuals feeling the need to feel engaged.[34][39] Individuals who feel as if they have limited freedom or choice see binge watching as an activity to participate in. Kendall emphasizes that lockdown has heightened the need to get back into a rhythm as quarantine has left people feeling uncertain about how they should organize their day.[34]

A 2017 study linked binge-watching to a poorer sleep quality, increased insomnia and fatigue.[42][43] In fact, binge-watching could lead to an increased cognitive alertness, therefore impacting sleep.[42] The results showed that 98 percent of binge-watchers were more likely to have poor sleep quality, were more alert before sleep and reported more fatigue. Authors also emphasize that findings have been inconsistent in sleep research regarding the negative associations between sleep and television viewing, and that it should be distinguished from binge-watching.[42]

Consuming television content at 'binge' levels has been found to create a negative effect on sleep cycles as a whole. Binge-watching may create feelings of regret, which may extending into the early hours of the morning, impacting on sleep and the day ahead. Additionally, individuals displaying binge-watching tendencies are more likely to suffer from insomnia, poorer sleep quality and sleep deprivation.[44]

A study from 2020 outlines the type of people who are most likely to partake in binge-watching. "[They] are more neurotic, less agreeable, less conscientious, and less open to new experience."[45] They also found that people who binge-watch often are more likely feel sad, anxious, stress and have low self-esteem. The study also finds that people who binge-watch often use "avoidance and emotional coping, instead of task-oriented coping."[45]

The same study also found that there were four profiles that binge-watchers fit into. The first is avid binge-watchers, who have high motivation for watching TV, but also have a strong sense of urgency and emotional reactions. The second is recreational binge-watchers, who have the least motivation and do not spend as much time watching TV. The third profile is, unregulated binge-watchers, who have the highest motivation to watch TV, which is driven by their coping mechanisms. Studies show they also "display the highest impulsivity among the binge-watchers of all types."[45] The last profile is, regulated binge-watchers, who also are motivated by emotional enrichment, they don't react as emotionally, and aren't impulsive people. 041b061a72


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