Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Binge Watching

Many of the pleasures we enjoy make us feel guilty. Binge watching is one of them. But is there a good reason for this particular guilt?

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Watching TV has a bad reputation: it’s like junk food for the mind. But as some writers have argued, lately this activity can be intellectually stimulating. Steven Johnson for example has argued that watching TV series has the same cognitive benefits conventionally ascribed to reading: attention, patience, retention, the parsing of narrative threads. “Over the last half-century, programming on TV has increased the demands it places on precisely these mental faculties.”

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What is really going on when we spend a whole weekend watching TV series? We escape into fantasy land, we live vicariously through the characters, we familiarize ourselves with environments and ways of being that would otherwise remain unfamiliar to us. In other words, we gorge ourselves with stories.

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We can do it by ourselves when we feel lonely and detached from the real world. Or we can do it with a partner or a friend, which will strengthen our bond. Not to mention the fact that it’s an easy way of putting the stress of our daily lives behind us.

Maybe we should stop feeling guilty about something that gives us pleasure and that can be intellectually stimulating and just enjoy it. Please, share this!