By Namrata Mariwalla
Does your idea of a perfect weekend include sitting at home with a box of pizza watching back-to-back episodes of your favourite television show? Does the desperation of what’s going to happen next give you sleepless nights? Or watching one episode is never enough; it has to be the entire season, or perhaps the entire series together?
Then congrats, you are in the same boat as me! Call it binge watching, marathon viewing or even couch potatoing. The pure delight of sitting and watching your favourite TV series is indescribable. Binge watching is when you sit and watch a TV series for some straight hours, forgetting all about the outside world. It is my idea of a perfect break from reality. Getting attached to the main characters, and feeling for them is a mere side effect.
It usually starts with curiosity about this thing you saw on the Internet, you wonder what is so special, and decide to check it out. Next thing you know you have been inside your room for 10 hours straight, biting your nails, red eyes, disarrayed hair with the show consuming your entire mind.
The most annoying retort that we folks come across is perhaps- ‘Don’t you have a life?’ or ‘Will this show help you in future?’ I usually just answer those questions with an eye-roll. It is hard to understand us, unless you are on the same boat as us.
But the most difficult thing to deal, or the thing we dread the most is the end of a show! The moment, that very moment! It is the point where we are hanging in the middle, thinking about the meaning of life as sadness consumes us, thinking about the reality is frightening. The last episode is like a straw hanging thin between reality and the ultimate doom. It’s like you are in a grave, but you are refusing to come out of it!
So how to deal with that sort of stress? The simple answer would be you don’t, but just move on with your life. It is like going through the worst break up of your life. Where the boyfriend promised he would be with you for the entire life, but just leaves you there in shambles. How do you recover from that?
Psychologists suggest to drink water, go out for a stroll or to start with a new hobby. Like that is easy? Getting back to real life after a binge-watching season is like a wizard entering a muggle world, as everything seems so ordinary. So the natural thing one does after a show gets over is- rebinge.
Oh, what fun.
But perhaps here are few of the methods, tried and tested by me to get over my binge-watching obsession. This is how I claimed back my life from the darkness that is binge watching.
1. Sleep early – Simple remedy, you won’t watch TV if you are sleeping, right? I developed this habit of sleeping early hence getting less time to binge watch.
2. Attend lectures – Yes, it sounds preachy, but honestly does work. And a simple and effective way to get rid of your name out from that horrid defaulters list.
3. Initiate plans with friends – Forgot you had those because of incessant binge watching? Here, now go make plans and stay away from home, the abode for all the binge.
4. Switch off that Autoplay – That feature of Netflix automatically playing the next episode is evil, and you need to get rid of it. Go switch it off immediately.
5. Distract yourself – Not a simple remedy, but an effective one. Keep on diverting your mind from the incessant urge to binge-watch.
And if all this doesn’t work then, you are way to deep in the hole, and only a disappointing end to a show will get out of it. (Maybe the creators of HIMYM will rescue you.)