As a kid, I always loved watching TV and there was always a show I wanted to watch. Being a kid born in the ’80s and having grown up towards the end of that decade and into the ’90s, I stand by my firm belief that the best television shows have come out around those times. At least when it comes to the sitcom format. I’d religiously watch each and every episode of Full House, Family Matters, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Friends, Boy Meets World, and the list stretches quite endlessly. These days, I barely watch much TV anymore. Part of it has to do with being too busy a lot of the time and the other half of it being there isn’t a ton of shows I’m willing to invest my spare time on. And in those rare times where there are shows actually worth watching, being able to binge watch anything is easier said than done.
In high school and in the earlier part of college, I used to binge watch anime shows I was into very easily. It was literally a non-issue for me. On weekends, I would lock myself up in my room and watch episode after episode of a particular anime, only taking breaks for the bathroom and eating. When I managed to finish one season of a 24 episode or more anime, I never thought how it was an amazing feat that I managed to finish that many episodes in one day or two. I was still riding the high of, “That show was amazing” or “I can’t believe it’s over” kind of feeling. Post-college and becoming a working adult with concerns over her future and her career goals, the very idea of binge watching anything is nearly impossible for me to do now.
Maybe it’s because I’ve picked up other interests, like video games, as time wore on and finding time to play one video game is also a problem I have to deal with when I have some free time to myself. Binge watching a really good show for an entire weekend is not something I can commit myself to do as easily as I used to when I was still in school. I already have a lot on my plate to deal with during the week. I don’t need to feel any anxiety when I pick an activity to do on days when I can unwind and entertain myself.
It comes as a surprise to me when I see people on my Facebook feed post statuses proclaiming how they’ve just binge watched an entire season of a particular show. I know it depends on the show and how many episodes it has for each season. Binge watching shows like Orange Is The New Black is probably more reasonable than binge watching every single episode of Lost. Certain shows won’t take up most of your time and others will. And if you have a life outside of your TV, then you’re not going to be spending an entire day inside. Seriously, you need to stretch your legs and interact with the world outside. I also realize it’s not an impossible feat to binge watch a show when your only other interests in your spare time is watching movies/TV and reading. It gets a little tricky when you have those interests in addition to having an interest in writing and playing video games. Your options become much wider and choosing what you want to do is a tougher decision with the limited time you have.
I miss my school days when it was easier for me to sit down and watch any show I was excited about until I’ve reached the very end. Now, I’m so reluctant to binge watch one season and I’m only willing to commit to watching two or three episodes at a time. Anything beyond that makes me itchy to move onto something else. I guess my attention span for most things have steadily decreased as I’ve gotten older. Or maybe I just want to be able to give some time to the other interests I have. When you only have weekends and the occasional holiday off from work, you have to utilize the time the best way you can.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who has the time to binge watch all the great shows in one weekend, then I applaud you. You’ll get much further in shows than I ever will. With that in mind, I leave you with a PSA on binge watching your favorite shows responsibly.