Binge-watching television is becoming more common

Meredith Mooney, Assistant Editor

Binge watching has been a part of many students’ lives. Teachers and students take part in this practice. But the question is: is it good or bad? Binge watching is, according to Karen Bear, a 6th grade Language Arts teacher, all about watching lots of television.

“Binge watching is when you sit for a period of time watching episode after episode of programs on television,” she said.

Recent studies have shown that binge watching can make students feel anxious, stressed, or alone. About 70 percent of Americans are binge-watchers. Anna Fitzpatrick, a 6th grade student disagrees with these studies.

“I don’ t think that is true because I binge watch with my friends a lot so, that’s not really being alone.”

6th grade student, Lauren Reilly agrees. “I don’ t really feel that way when I do it, but it is hard for me when I know I should be playing with my dog or doing something else,” she said.

Studies prove that binge watching, according to the New York Post, have pretty big effects. Of the 2,000 people who were surveyed by, those aged 18-24 were fives times more likely to feel lonely, three times more likely to feel depressed and twice as likely to feel anxious, sleepless and empty. Mindy Utsman, a 6th grade world History teacher sees proof of this in her classroom every day.

“Students who binge-watch or watch YouTube repeatedly aren’t getting enough sleep,” she said. “Students often tell me that they have stayed awake until 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM watching something on their phone. This makes students tired and unengaged in the classroom. This lack of sleep can make some students irritable.”

Most teachers see the essence of binge watching in their classrooms every day. Abbie
Kilgore, a 6th grade Science teacher, sees no major effects.

“No I don’ t see any effects on students unless they talk about what they are watching,” she said.

Students argue that binge watching is good for them, and that, according to 6th grade student Ellie Jackson, “It helps me de-stress.”

They also argue that, according to 6th grade student Ella Stidham,

“It can be [addictive] because some people can’ t stop.”

Reilly agrees.

“I like how it ‘cures’ your boredom, but I don’ t like how time consuming it is,” she said. “I binge watch whenever I have the time and that can be from two hours to an entire Saturday,” Stidham

According to NBC News, the average American spends around 2.7 hours watching TV each day. That adds up to almost 20 hours per week. Kilgore sees how that can be a problem.

“Once I get sucked into a show, I have to find out what happens next, and next,” she said.

According to Business Insider, our bodies start to prepare for sleep at night, but bright lights can trick our brains into thinking it’s still daytime. This means that if students or teachers binge-watch before bed,
then they aren’t likely to have as good of a sleep as someone who didn’t’ t binge-watch before bed. Even students recognize the lack of sleep binge-watching causes.

“I go to bed really late,” Jackson said.

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