I can easily watch an entire series in a single day.
Ten hours of television a day, and I didn't even like it.
[Why do we binge watch?]
[Half of us have binge-watched eight hours of a TV show in one go.]
[80 percent have sacrificed sleep.]
[One in five British workers admit to...]
Bingeing started by accident.
Netflix had realised that loads of people were gravitating towards watching shows in bulk, be that shows that you've seen before... Friends, Seinfeld, Law & Order, ER.
That's the surprise about it—it's led by the consumer.
The way that Netflix tries to nudge you to watch more, it's very subtle little tricks.
They work out very quickly when a show launches, which thumbnail is working.
Also, getting to the very end of an episode and immediately the credits, they minimalize it right to the corner of the screen straight away and automatically load the next episode.
That's how you sometimes get sucked into watching a show for three hours without even noticing.
I have found that people are deeply embarrassed by how much they watch TV.
Deeply embarrassed to not be productive and take time off and say, "Actually, I watched six hours of television today because I needed to not look at five different tabs on a work computer, I just needed to..."
We also binge to be part of the public conversation.
[Nearly 1/4 of us have lied about watching a series because other people were talking about it.]
Yeah, I love Fleabag!
So I think there is an anxiety about being caught up about this content, which is forcing people to binge more also.
When we can identify with a character, it leads to the release of the love hormone oxytocin.
It creates a bond.
"We have had such a wonderful morning."
A series like Big Little Lies, which allows you to look at the same event through the eyes of very different characters, you're bound to be able to find a character that you can relate to and go on the journey with.
"If you ever touch my little girl like that again, you're gonna be in big trouble."
[So are there benefits to binge-watching?]
If we're making time to watch a series end-to-end, we are potentially creating hours of space to work with our emotions, our relationships.
[There was a 41 percent leap in the number of couples seeking counselling after Love Island 2019 began airing.]
I have probably watched television with over 700 people, and so I've experienced a lot of people having big emotions.
"No-one's fun anymore, whatever happened to fun!"
The episode Splats! of Sex and the City, which is the one where Kristen Johnston falls out of a window causes people a lot of emotions because it's an episode about moving on from something.
"I wanna go to Paris."
Our brains don't discriminate between real activation and activation due to imagined events.
[Binge-watching is not just about relaxing.]
[What we watch can have an effect on our nervous system.]
Binge-watching means that you're activating yourself to a high degree for much longer periods of time.
That's going to take longer for you to come down from that.
Episode four of Game of Thrones where Missandei is beheaded, a much beloved character, it's a very graphic death, will have triggered the sympathetic nervous system.
It wouldn't be conducive to a good night's sleep.
[Video on demand is changing the way stories are told.]
[Series are designed with bingeing in mind.]
What makes Netflix stand out so well is the fact that they're able to really experiment with the number of characters that are in the number of story arcs.
Netflix knows that you're never going to watch a show midway through, you're never going to start in the middle, you're always going to start from the very beginning.
So that's why you've got Orange Is the New Black, which has a cast of about 40.
So you're able to have that level of depth over an eight-hour series, than what you would normally do if it was separated into eight 60-minute chunks shoved on a linear broadcast channel.
Bingeing is a word that has very negative connotations to it, right?
Bingeing is to shovel yourself.
We don't say, "I binged a book."
But the reality is that some of the greatest writers of our generation are writing television.
I would be the last person to say stop binge watching.
Thanks for watching.
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