What’s the difference between a video marathon and a video binge?
Nothing. They both have the same negative consequence: losing entire weekends in front of the screen. Marathon makes it sound like an epic adventure. Passively sitting on the couch is not epic.
For example, this clip form Portlandia shows, in all it’s hilarity, how two people get sucked into a video binge, and suffer the consequences:
But it’s much more than a joke. People suffer from addiction to video, and the advent of streaming video increases the problem.
When Netflix unveiled a new “post-play” feature, they removed a choice from the viewer. Unlike Fred and Carrie in the clip above, you no longer have to actively choose to watch the next episode. It starts automatically. Netflix frames it as helpful; I think it removes agency.
By making all 13 episodes of the show’s first season available at the same time, Netflix consciously opted to enable the practice of “binge viewing” in which viewers spend hours on end consuming episode after episode of their favorite TV shows.
I want my agency back, and I cannot get it from Netflix. Recovery from videophilia, the love of electronic media, begins with admitting I have a problem. I am powerless over video, and it’s my responsibility to tend to my own recovery.