How Binge Watching Relates to Evolution

January 28, 2019
Man Binge Watching TV with a Cat

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It's that time of year, when it's been cold for weeks and WILL be cold for weeks, and the thought of making plans outside your home seems incredibly exhausting. Enter: binge watching. Netflix gets credit for making it a thing in 2013 (one dictionary made "binge-watch" the word of the year in 2015), and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. 

But WHY do we love it so much? This article points out that it has to do with our primitive nature. Evolutionarily speaking: if humans are happy, we'll want to work to survive (and stay happy), so we're wired to seek out things that bring us joy. Socializing makes us happy, and spending hours with familiar characters gives us the same sort of joy as socializing. That means binge-watching helps the human race survive and thrive!

...to a point, of course. If you don't sleep or eat because you're so engrossed in your screen, that's bad. But generally speaking, it's safe and even healthy to spend hours with your shows. Which reminds me that I only have two and a half months to watch all 67 episodes of Game of Thrones...