Next time you see your friend tweeting about binge-watching you might want to ask if everything's alright. A study by the University of Texas revealed that powering your way through episode after episode may mean you're dealing with depression or loneliness.
Yoon Hi Sung led the study of 316 18- to 29-year-olds and found that the more lonely and depressed the participants were, the more likely they were to engage in binge-watching. The study also linked the practice to a lack of self control, fatigue, and obesity.
In a press release for the study Hi Sung warned about the dangers of binge-watching:
"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. When binge-watching becomes rampant, viewers may start to neglect their work and their relationships with others. Even though people know they should not, they have difficulty resisting the desire to watch episodes continuously. Our research is a step toward exploring binge-watching as an important media and social phenomenon."
Now I feel awful for watching four episodes of The Wire today. Thanks, Texas.