Frequent Binge-Watching Could Be a Warning Sign of Depression
Binge-watching a TV series and the allure of “just one more episode” are things most of us can relate to. But researchers from the University of Texas at Austin think that this persistent behavior could be a warning sign for depression.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
Netflix is a wasted day waiting to happen. The running joke is that the service gives you 10 seconds in between TV episodes to decide if you're going to do anything productive with your day. Ah yes, binge-watching and the allure of “just one more episode” are things most of us can relate to. But researchers Yoon Hi Sung, Eun Yeon Kang and Wei-Na Lee from the University of Texas at Austin think that this persistent behavior could be a warning sign of depression.
The researchers conducted a survey on 316 participants, ages 18 to 29 years, asking about their TV-watching habits and how often they felt lonely or depressed. Their results revealed that participants who confessed to binge-watching often were more likely to feel lonely and depressed. The researchers suggest that among these people there might be a deficiency in their ability to self-regulate, opting for clicking that “Next” button that will take them away from negative feelings.
With the rise of seemingly unlimited movies and TV shows at our fingertips, binge-watching is a relatively new pastime. One that people joke is a harmless addiction. However, the researcher Sung cautions against this thought, saying in a press release:
"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."
This study doesn't necessarily mean you should forgo plans to binge-watch the latest season of House of Cards; just make sure these plans aren't happening on a regular basis.
Read more at Eurekalert!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?
- "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
- The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
- Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.