Binge watching your fave TV shows may seem like a great idea, but read this first.  

Finding a new show, getting excited, and then watching all of the episodes that you missed is something that I know many of us have done. Personally, I watched season 1 of Scandal in an afternoon like my life depended on it, because I felt my inner Olivia Pope coming to the surface.  Well, the University of Texas at Austin conducted a recent study that found individuals who binge watch television are lonelier, more depressed, and lacking in self-control.  The study surveyed 316  participants who were 18 to 29 years old. The study looked at how often they felt lonely, depressed or lacked self-control, and how much they watched and binge-watched television.

The research found that the more depressed and lonely its participants were, the more likely they were to binge watch television to try to feel less negative. Individuals in the study who lacked self- control were more likely to binge watch television because they lacked the ability to stop clicking to proceed to the next episode. Yoon Hi Sung, one of the researchers in the study states:

Even though some people argue that binge-watching is a harmless addiction, findings from our study suggest that binge-watching should no longer be viewed this way. Physical fatigue, and problems such as obesity, and other health problems are related to binge-watching, and they are a cause for concern. Our research is a step toward exploring binge-watching as an important media and social phenomenon.

Now, binge watching on occasion, I wouldn’t find to be problematic. It is important to be self-aware and understand the emotional connections to your actions. Temporarily engaging in behaviors that make you feel good or take your mind off of stressful or negative situations can be good and feel good. The issue, I think, is when a particular activity becomes your one and only means of feeling good. So, take time to look at the emotionally motivating factors of your actions, and that will be a good indicator of problematic behavior. In the meantime, just kick back, relax, and catch a dope show or two, instead of the whole season.

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-Nakeasha Johnson (@NakeashaJ)