Don't worry, guys, we're not here to yell at you! We're here to discuss something that we're all guilty of doing a little too often— no, not that, something else, and it's perhaps the most addicting thing in the world: Netflix binge-watching. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or college student stuck in your dorm room, Netflix binging has become the most commonly shared activity among people from all different walks of life. What you need? A Netflix account and a whole lot of time on your hands.
That's the thing, though — even people without a lot of time on their hands are falling down the rabbit hole, often sacrificing sleep and productivity just to brag to their friends, family, and colleagues that they've finished a show first. When you really think about it, it's a pretty ridiculous accomplishment, and yet, I bet you can recall a time you've said/heard the very same thing. Think back to when Stranger Things 2 finally dropped — most people stayed in all freakin' weekend just to finish it before the work week started back up! Talk about toxic behavior, huh?
The question remains, why is this happening? Is there some sort of chemical pull beyond human control? Turns out, yep, that's exactly right and if it didn't frighten you before, it really should now. Dr. Renee Carr, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist, reported to NBC News:
"When engaged in an activity that's enjoyable such as binge watching, your brain produces dopamine. This chemical gives the body a natural, internal reward of pleasure that reinforces continued engagement in that activity. It is the brain's signal that communicates to the body, 'This feels good. You should keep doing this!' When binge watching your favorite show, your brain is continually producing dopamine, and your body experiences a drug-like high. You experience a pseudo-addiction to the show because you develop cravings for dopamine."
To really put things into perspective, your brain doesn't discriminate when it comes to addiction. So long as you're making it feel "good" it doesn't particularly care about the medium. Dr. Carr continued: "The neuronal pathways that cause heroin and sex addictions are the same as an addiction to binge watching," Yes, guys, you read that correctly — sex and heroin! Binge-watching is no joke, please be responsible.
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