I released my first book on July 1st this year. With that, I gave myself a mental license to watch a TV series. I binged a thriller series with two seasons.
This post is about my observation of how time lapses when you binge on a TV series. After the show was over, I wanted to have a time accounting of how many hours I ended up spending on the show. I went to the streaming website and did a simple addition of the duration of all the sixteen episodes across two seasons.
You can see my total time expenditure. Of course, I enjoyed the show. But I also had this quiet, silent thought post watching the show, 'did I really need to have rewarded myself that way?' And somewhere deep inside I felt that spending almost thirteen hours on a show for two straight days did make not me feel good.
Then I got an idea. To employ a simple control mechanism before I plan to watch any TV series. What I am going to do henceforth is that when I get attracted by a new show, I will prepare a 'time expenditure table' (as above) before starting with the show.
I will list down the duration of all the episodes of all the seasons and find out how much time I am going to be spending on the show. The deciding rule is, 'after knowing the total duration, if my mind still permits me and gives a go-ahead, I will go on the next binge without guilt.'
The rationale behind this control mechanism is that we know that TV shows are time-expensive and they have captivating hooks at the end of each episode and season that makes it almost impossible to stop watching once you have started it.
Therefore, my advice would be to have a small, conscious obstacle before diving; to know how many hours we are going to spend on it. To have an estimate beforehand rather than having a guilty afterthought.
My recommendation is not to say that you should not binge-watch TV series at all but to deploy a speed breaker before the act. In case, after doing this exercise, you still want to watch, go ahead.
Now you will own the fact that despite knowing the time expenditure, you still went ahead to watch. It was a conscious choice. That way, you can own it.
Happy bingeing. Happy conscious bingeing.