Word of the Day: Binge

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Binge-watching, a new way of watching shows. This activity wasn’t available in the “old days” unless a TV station ran a marathon. And if they did, it was called exactly that—a marathon.

I looked up the word and there are a few meanings. In this case, it’s used as a verb so I’ll give you the two main definitions of the verb form.

  1. Eat too much.
  2. Be self-indulgent with something. Example given: Stay in all day and binge on old movies.
    The dictionary is already behind the times!

Netflix is feeding the binge-watching addiction. They release a whole series on the first day. A person can watch one episode or devour them all in one sitting. If you have the time. Or you’re part of the younger generation.  I understand it’s the new way to watch a series. Trust me, I have firsthand knowledge. My son has binged-watched many a series.

Not too long ago the family went to New York City for vacation. Little did I know, Netflix was releasing Arrested Development while we were there. Somehow he managed to squeeze in 14 episodes in two days. Don’t ask me how.

Well, actually do ask me how. It’s really not that hard. Just start with the first show and immediately go on to the next. When that one’s over, start up the next. Pretty simple. You may pause for snack and bathroom breaks when needed. And if on vacation, set your phone aside to look at the sights.

I wouldn’t mind binge watching a series I liked. I have no idea how far I’d get, but it would be fun to try. In this family, there’s only one master binge-watcher. It’d take a lot to dethrone him, as you will see in the conversation below. Recently this took place in my kitchen.

Husband to son: We’ve been binge watching Mad Men and The Newsroom.
Me to son (Smiling and maybe an eye roll thrown in):Two in a row.
Son: Dad, that’s not binge watching, that’s just watching television.

I’d like to start a new movement. How about binge reading? I remember coming home from the library with a pile of books. When I finished one, I reached for the next one on the stack. And books can go everywhere you go, too. It’s an amazing concept.

Do we really need to binge on anything? In this fast paced world I think it would be nice to slow down once in awhile. Instant gratification is becoming common place.

Next time you’re set to hit the play button, stop and think.  Is there something else I could do? Read a book, write a poem, kick a ball around the backyard, go for a walk, call a friend?

It might be fun to binge every now and then.  I’m not against it. Just take time to smell the roses. You may find you like the slower pace of the real world.

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