With the popularity of online streaming comes the emergence of binge watching and all at once gratification. No longer are the days in which most people must wait a week to watch a new episode of their favorite show (although if they still have cable, they can most certainly use this method). Popular streaming sites, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video are growing in popularity. People are cutting cable and signing up for these sites, as they are typically cheaper, have variety, and people can watch what they want when they want.
Personally, I do not binge watch. After about four episodes, I have had enough and need to move around and do something. Many people, though, will finish an entire season of a show in a matter of a few days, and finish an entire nine season series in a week. Streaming sites have made it easy for people to continue watching episode after episode, making them lose track of time and even a sense of reality. But why does binge watching do this to us?
We can attribute this to the “give me now” attitude many people have today, in which they cannot wait to see what happens next and want everything all at once. We can also attribute this to the novelty of streaming sites and even different shows. For years people have had to wait week after week to watch a new episode of their favorite show, and now streaming sites will upload them all at once for the audience’s viewing pleasure. No longer do you have to wait a span of 12 weeks to view “Scandal”, now you can watch it all in a matter of about 12 hours. Also, people want to be the “first” to do something, even if that means being the first to watch a television show. They don’t want to feel left out or behind others who are having conversations about whatever new show was just added to Netflix, so they will binge watch to stay up on the times and to keep up with the world around them.
Overall, people want what they want when they want it, and that includes television shows. Why wait when you can watch everything in a matter of days? Many people can see binge watching as a solo activity that stunts social abilities, it can also be a tool to start conversations and connect with others. No longer are the water cooler discussions about last night’s episode, as we have moved beyond that towards discussions about the entire series. Binge watching has become widely popular that it has become the new norm and those of us who do not binge watch are sometimes left out or looked at oddly, as we do not know really of what was happening in the new show that was released two nights ago. This has become the new norm of society and it will become more and more common and evolve around this point, which is kind of scary, in a way, as technology is becoming more and more present in people’s enjoyment and pleasure activities.