In a survey seemingly designed to only generate reaction more than meaningful data, Austin’s University of Texas has claimed that ‘binge watching’ or marathoning of TV episodes is a coping mechanism for depression and loneliness.
The admittedly limited study by Yoon Hi Sung of over 300 people ages 18-29 has linked the phenomenon to not just those factors, but a lack of self-control, fatigue and obesity.
According to Variety, Yoon claims: “Even though some people argue that binge-watching is a harmless addiction, findings from our study suggest that binge-watching should no longer be viewed this way.”
Binge-watching has become a major element of the appeal of online streaming services like Netflix who actively encourage it with their shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black”. It has also played a big part in the significant increase in serialised storytelling on television in recent years.