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Research Says: No Need to Cringe When You Binge!

shutterstock_246276268If you’ve ever felt a pang of guilt after a marathon (mini, or full-blown) binge-watching session, stop beating yourself up. Because a new study has found that binge watching television makes people happy, and very few people –researchers included- think it’s a bad habit. In case you’re bingeing on old monster flicks, we’ll paraphrase the Frankenstein monster: “Happy… good.”

Now THIS is the kind of research that everyone likes.

When asked how they feel after a binge, almost a third of people who viewed several consecutive episodes of the same show in one sitting said they feel happy or fulfilled, the two most popular answers with 31 percent and 29 percent respectively.

More than half of viewers surveyed by YouGov Omnibus said they have binge watched, and 72 percent said it’s their preferred method of consuming entertainment. Only 9 percent said they felt “unhealthy” after an entertainment binge.

Nearly half of the bingers said they do it because they can’t stand the suspense of waiting a week to see what happens. (Weaklings.) Twenty-eight percent said they’re afraid of spoilers leaked by someone further ahead in episodes or in the media. (For everyone here in Our Hawaii Nei who’s experienced the new malahini in the office blurting out the final score of the big game just before you were going to go home to watch it on DVR, you can relate to that one.)

But the biggest reason people binge-watch, 58 percent, is because they want to see the whole story at once. (The Zeitgeist now charitably labels these people, “completists.”)

A different poll published in March 2016 found that women are slightly more likely than men to binge-watch. The mobile pulse poll by Lightspeed GMI found 82 percent of women and 78 percent of men were binge watchers, and women watched more episodes at a time — usually between four and eight.

Yet another study showed that if you’re staying home marathon-viewing as a couple, it might actually strengthen your relationship! Research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships said couples who spent more time consuming media with their loved ones felt closer.

Now we only need a study that shows the accompanying pizza and pint of Rocky Road is good for you, too.

By: Anne Stych

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