Movies, again, are movies, made for us to watch one episode at a time. But if you’re like me, and you have to sit down and plow through a few episodes every time you watch a series, then we may be engaging in a behavior scientists call “binge-watch”.
“Binge-watch” is defined as an excessive obsession with movies that make us watch at least 2 or more episodes in every sitting. With the popularity of the internet today, we no longer have to depend on movie time on TV.
That’s why millions of people around the world are watching the series in this way.binge-watch“. In 2013, the word was even suggested to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary. But as we all know, the victory went to an even more popular word:”selfie“.
Even so, there’s no denying the prevalence of “binge-watch” behavior. Scientists even wonder is it dangerous? During the COVID-19 era when indoor entertainment activities take over, more and more people are willing to watch not just one, but possibly multiple movies at once.
Have when “binge-watch” also an addiction? And if you know you can’t resist the ending to every episode, what can you do to stop yourself from clicking on the next episode?
The following article by Professor Mark Griffiths, director of the International Center for Game Research, who specializes in behavioral addictions at Nottingham Trent University, UK will give you the answer.
What is movie addiction?
First of all, it must be said that the behavior of addiction “binge-watch” is not defined by the number of episodes you watch (though most researchers agree that it is at least two episodes in a row.) Nor is it defined by the specific number of hours you spend sitting in front of a screen. TV or computer.
As with other potentially addictive behaviors, it’s more important to answer the question: Is being intoxicated with movies negatively impacting other aspects of your life?
In my years of research on addiction, I have found that all addictive behaviors are composed of 6 core elements. Specifically with the “binge-watch” behavior those elements are:
1. You consider filmmaking the most important activity in your personal life.
2. You watch movies because it helps to change your mood: you will find yourself in a better mood for a short time, or watch movies to temporarily get rid of something negative in your life.
3. Filmmaking has the effect of damaging more important aspects of your life, such as relationships, study or work.
4. The number of hours you spend plowing movies increases over time.
5. You experience psychological or physiological withdrawal symptoms if you stop the movie.
6. You take a break from the series for a while, but once you return, you will continue”binge-watch” at exactly the level you’ve seen before, this is called relapse.
In my opinion, any person who meets these 6 factors will be really addicted”binge-watch“. But if people meet only one or a few of these criteria, they may have a problem with movie-going but won’t be classified as an addiction, at least according to my criteria.
Like many other behavioral addictions, such as sex addiction, work addiction, and exercise addiction, movie addiction has not been officially recognized in any of the psychiatric categories for doctors.
We also don’t have an accurate estimate of how common movie plowing is when it causes problems for sufferers. But research on this phenomenon is still ongoing.
Look at the research evidence
In the latest study on the topic, a team of scientists in Poland surveyed 645 young adults, all of whom reported that they watched at least 2 episodes of a show in just one sitting. The researchers wanted to understand some of the basic elements of “binge-watch” should have interviewed them.
The special thing is that they also use the definition of movie addiction according to the 6 criteria that I have proposed. Each participant was then given a questionnaire containing questions such as: “How often do you neglect your duties to watch series?”, “Do you often feel sad or frustrated when you can’t watch TV series?” and “How often do you neglect your sleep to watch a good series of episodes?”.
Participants had to give answers on a scale of 1 (never) to 6 (always). Scores above a certain threshold are considered a sign of plowing the film when it starts to have problems.
Using a variety of other scales, the researchers found that there are a number of motivations for us to watch movies uncontrollably, including: not having a plan, not knowing the consequences of our behavior, feel lonely, watch movies as a way to solve or run away from problems you face in real life…
The authors also cite an earlier study showing that movie addicts often suffer from depression and anxiety. The stronger the symptoms of anxiety and depression are present, the more likely they are to watch movies and become addicted to stronger movies.
The same has been confirmed in other studies. For example, a study of adults in Taiwan found that movie-playing behavior was associated with depression, social anxiety, and loneliness. An American study found that this behavior was linked to depression and attachment anxiety. Most related studies have also pointed to escapism as a major driver of filmmaking.
In terms of personality traits, research has shown that movie addicts often have low conscientiousness (characterized by impulsive, careless, and disorganized behaviors). In contrast, they have a high degree of neuroticism (characterized by anxious behavior and susceptibility to negative emotions). In all addictions in general, we scientists see these types of associations.
How to break the habit and get rid of movie addiction?
Now, if you’ve noticed the behavior “binge-watch” have a problem and want to gradually reduce the number of episodes that you watch in one opening, my first advice and golden rule is to stop watching midway through an episode.
It’s really hard to stop watching at the end of an episode because it often ends with an open ending, a cliffhanger, a trap to lure you into clicking the next episode.
Second, I also suggest that you set realistic daily limits. For me, that’s 2.5 hours if I have work the next day, or up to 5 hours if I’m free that day or the next day. And finally, we should only start plowing movies as a reward for ourselves after we’ve done everything necessary, both work and social obligations.
Remember, the difference between a healthy binge and an addictive behavior is this: bingeing makes your life better, while addiction makes your life less valuable.
If you feel movies are taking over your life, you should see a clinical psychologist. Most addictions are just symptoms of larger underlying problems, so deal with them before it’s too late.
Refer to Theconversation