As stated in my previous blog post, I’ve officially come to a conclusion for my research project, and have even undertaken some methods in completing the project. I’ve taken some photos of people in their ideal friends watching environment, and I’ve found that most binge-watchers use their laptops to watch their shows, which is interesting. Because of this, I’ve undertaken some background research into binge-watching.
In ‘The Netflix Effect: Teens, Binge-Watching, and On-Demand Digital Media Trends’ Toronto Star Reporter, Raju Mudhar states
‘Entertainment is fast becoming an all-you-can-eat buffet. Call it the Netflix Effect.’
In 2013, Netflix released all 15 episodes of a new season of Arrested Development and reports showed that approximately 10% of viewers made it through the entire season within 24 hours. Along with other shows, due to Netflix’s dump of an entire season, large percentages of Netflix subscribers would watch back-to-back episodes. When all episodes of a season were released simultaneously, these shows encouraged marathon-viewing sessions for all 18-34 age demographic (Matrix, S. 2014).
Connected Gen Y and Gen Z who have access to these services are practising new telivision viewing styles using a variety of digital technologies. In 2013, research by Pricewaterhouse Coopers found that 63% of households in the United States used a video streaming and delivery services such as Hulu, Netflic, or Amazon Prime. 22% of these households were streaming Netflix every single week of the year.
With its long-tail inventory of TV shows and movies, commercial-free viewing experience, and “post play” seamless episode delivery, Netflix is changing viewers’ expectations concerning what, how, and when they watch TV. As a result, viewers not surprisingly are watching more television, including in larger doses at a time. (Matrix, S. 2015)
Earlier this year, The International Communication Association released research that suggests binge-watching could lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. Researchers asked 316 16-20 year olds about their regular TV-show watching and binge-watching habits. They then used a questionnaire to asses their loneliness, depression, and ability to control the urge to watch more shows. 75% of participants admitted to binge-watching, or watching two 2-6 episodes of a single TV series in one sitting. More people watched on weekends than weekdays, and most people watched by themselves. Only 5 people admitted to watching seven hours or more.
Researchers noticed similarities among people who watched more hours of shows at once – they were lonelier, sadder and had less self-control than those who didn’t binge-watch at all. The research doesn’t prove that binge-watching makes you depressed, or lonely. It simply identifies an association between the habit and the temperaments of people who do it.
Although it doesn’t trigger loneliness, the study did warn that people who feel particularly lonely may be susceptible to addictive TV-watching, which could then trigger guilt about watching too much TV at once, therefore sucking up so much time that you end up feeling more socially detached.
Whilst looking for the daily news I also happened to stumble upon a recent article – ‘Netflix and Kill: Man kills friend after binge-watching ‘The Walking Dead’. After binge-watching ‘The Walking Dead’, Damon Perry believes that he saw his friend turn into a zombie and try to kill him, after drinking heavily. It was then that he beat his friend to death using his bare hands, feet, knives, a microwave oven and an electric guitar. When police arrived, Perry confessed to the murder, blaming it on watching ‘The Walking Dead’ on Netflix.
All of the above is very interesting when it comes to the habit of binge-watching, whereas ‘Friends’ is just too funny a show to feel lonely to. Although I’ve tried to research, there really aren’t many articles on binge-watching ‘Friends’ as a whole, which is why I’ve researched on binge-watching altogether.
However, what I have found, are numerous guides to HOW TO binge-watch Friends. (We all need those now, don’t we?)
EntertainThis! Wrote an article on what was learnt by watching all 10 seasons in just one month. Including, how much of a jerk Ross is, Ross and Rachel fall in and out of love too fast, gender norms were used as a joke too many times and the last episode is still perfect.
Wired also wrote a guide to watching friends, including the episodes to HAVE TO watch, and the episodes that just don’t need your attention. ET Online, did a very similar article, stating the top episodes you simply have to watch.
Although, my favourite has to be Mashable’s guide to watching Friends. Set out in a very handy subway map – which I find is insanely adorable.
With all that – Enjoy your Friends watching!!
- EurekAlert!,. ‘Feelings Of Loneliness And Depression Linked To Binge-Watching Television’. N.p., 2015. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.
- Matrix, Sidneyeve. ‘The Netflix Effect: Teens, Binge Watching, And On-Demand Digital Media Trends’. Jeunesse 6.1 (2014): 119-138. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.
Other posts in the ‘Binge Watching Friends’ series: