It all started in 2013, when for the first time you had the opportunity to watch an entire TV season in one go. To many it must have seemed like a bizarre idea. But judging by what has come from this intuition, it seems that many were wrong. House of Cards had arrived, Netflix had arrived, and with them a new way of enjoying multimedia content.
Another number to persuade even the most sceptical: according to Nielsen, 361,000 Americans watched all the episodes of the second season of Stranger Things on the day of publication.
If you still thought you had to hide your serial viewer attitude, rest assured: there has never been a better time to come out into the open.
The causes of the Netflix addiction
But there are other factors that contribute to Netflix addiction: the areas of the brain that are activated when watching TV are the same as when you are experiencing an event first-hand, so some stories can be so engaging that you want to never take your eyes off the screen.
Seen in this way, binge-watching isn't so bad – quite the opposite actually. However, if there wasn't a price to pay the story wouldn't be so interesting, would it?
The effects of binge-watching on health
After watching all nine episodes of Master of None in a few days, Schneier fell victim of what he then discovered to be a rather common malaise: post-binge-watching depression. When a series ends, many people get the feeling of a real loss experience, and fall into a state similar to that of depression.
There is not much research on the subject, but the correlation between binge-watching and depression is now almost certain, both in a causal and in a predictive sense: in a study conducted by the University of Toledo, a group formed by respondents who identified themselves as binge-watchers (142 out of 408) reported higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
On the other hand, spending too much time in front of the TV had already been associated with health problems such as obesity, diabetes and depression itself.