General, Research, Technology

Why do we watch TV shows and how does this affect our health?

How many nights you spent without sleep watchingfavorite TV show? Today, the generalization of new multimedia platforms has ended with the type of television consumption we are used to: you can watch the whole season at a time, instead of the weary waiting for new episodes to be released once a week. Netflix streaming service even came up with a new term: binge-racer (something like an obsessive racer), which refers to the type of extreme addict who can spend sleepless nights watching one episode after another. It's about real fans who can watch the whole season in 24 hours. According to Netflix, the number of such users in 2013 alone was about 8.4 million. But how does this behavior affect health?

Spending a weekend watching a show, alas, is not a good idea

Generation Netflix

There is no doubt: watching TV shows is a way to avoid everyday worries. So, 76% of the people surveyed by Netflix said that watching TV shows helps them feel good, and also gives them the opportunity to choose what, how much and when they want to watch. Undoubtedly, compared to conventional television, it is incredibly convenient. But what happens in the human brain when watching TV shows “drunkenly”? The connection between watching new episodes and the reward system in the brain is obvious. According to the publication Muy Interesante, according to neurologist Diego Redolar of the University of Catalonia, the availability of episodes of the series helps the nervous system, which does not tolerate waiting, activate and “get hooked” on the series. The Netflix study confirms this type of consumption: its participants prefer to watch the whole season at once - on average for one week - than, for example, one episode per week. Before a serial marathon, the brain generates dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure.

This is interesting: Why are some people horror films and others not?

It is clear that for streaming services, likefor almost everything in the modern world, there is a cautious marketing strategy: marketers are well aware of what needs to be given to the consumer and how to make sure that the consumer returns again and again for their goods. For example, large releases are released on Fridays and the user can use several episodes or even the entire season. It is logical to assume that many viewers will spend the weekend on their TV screens. According to Netflix, science fiction and horror series are likely to be watched in one gulp. But watching the entire season requires more time than watching a regular movie, which in addition stimulates the reward system.

And how do you watch TV shows and do you watch at all? Let's discuss “Very Strange Things,” “The Real Detective,” and other series in the comments and our chat on Telegram.

Why is it worth being alert?

Try to remember the feeling when you lookedthe last series of the long-awaited series - what is it? Failure to watch the next episode generates anxiety and makes it difficult to concentrate on other tasks in everyday life. The neurotransmitter dopamine is released when we enjoy it - this process can be associated with both innocent activities, such as listening to music or drinking chocolate, and with other more dangerous ones, such as alcohol or drugs. Today it’s no secret to anyone that there is a fine line between harmless pleasure and serious addiction. There are studies that warn of cognitive and psychological damage due to watching TV shows in one sitting. Such behavior can lead to isolation and even depreciation of everyday personal experience. And to stay up to date with news from the world of science and high technology, subscribe to our news channel on Telegram.

In addition to the obvious harm to health due to a sedentary lifestyle, drunken watching TV shows negatively affects our emotional state.

Researchers also do not exclude that afterBy viewing people can feel physically exhausted and emotionally depressed. So the next time the next season of your favorite series comes out, think carefully before watching all the episodes over the weekend or overnight.