Under a Rock: Verbally Purging on Binging
Doctor Who, Gilmore Girls, Weeds, Stranger Things, How to Get Away with Murder, and, of course, Orange is the New Black.
You film them? I devour them.
If you did a Google search on binge-watching, you will see website after website either criticizing or celebrating the Netflix and Hulu culture. You can find arguments for or against it, whichever side you land on. Personally, I let my own body speak to me about the pros and cons.
Now, I am a bibliophile first and foremost. If a movie or television series has been made based on a book, chances are that I have read it, or will read it, first. When people talk about the physical hardships that binge-watching can place upon your body and mind, my first thought is always, “Well, isn’t your body in the same position that it would be if you were reading a book?” Now, this is where people counter with, “But a television is much harder on your eyes than a book.”
I’m not a scientist. I’m an English major.
Which means I didn’t personally study this hands-on, but I do know how to research! And I do know my own body. I know how empathetic I get towards a character (the hormones cortisol and oxytocin get released while watching, says neuroeconomist Paul Zak of Claremont Graduate University). I know I learn things about myself vicariously through a character’s life. I know that being a mother of three, sometimes I need a mental break. I know when my child is up at all hours, I need to do something besides count tiles as she nurses.
I’m willing to bet a nickel that most adults know how escapism can boost their mental health. Naysayers probably envision pale vampires bouncing between Facebook and streaming videos, taking selfies and not knowing what trees are.
Storytelling has evolved, folks. Humans have participated in it by different forms for eons. And let’s be real; we haven’t forgotten books. Amazon is now opening a second brick-and-mortar bookstore in Manhattan. Publishers got techno-dazzled with eBooks, but they are back on track and sales are showing it. Zines are trending. Also, have you heard of Human Libraries? Amazing.
Binge-watching is just another beast, my friend.
Ashley Amigoni is a freelance editor, bibliophile, self-proclaimed poet, and proud mother of two girls, residing in Illinois. She went to Lincoln College and Illinois State University for publishing, traveled to places like Singapore and Florence, and then happily put her daughters to the forefront of her life. She now is finding herself again, freelance editing for a few years now at Escapist Freelance Editing. In her free time, when not taking her children on adventures, she can be found haunting independent bookstores for literature to add to her endless to-be-read-time.
Wortham, Jenna. (2007, February 28). Why the Internet Didn’t Kill Zines. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/magazine/why-the-internet-didnt-kill-zines.html?_r=0.
Zak, P.J., A.A. Stanton, and S. Ahmadi. Oxytocin Increases Generosity in Humans. PLOS ONE 2(1): e1128 (2007).