The first time you check, the clock reads 8:06 pm.
The second time you look up, it says 11:43 pm.
The next? 2:28 am.
This is the binge-watch timeline. One minute, you're in totally safe territory. You've watched two episodes of a show, half-listening as you heat up last night's Chinese takeout for dinner. When the third episode is loading over the credits, you just let it play. Switching to a different show with different characters would confuse your mind.
Maybe you'll even multitask during that third episode! You can write those thank you cards you've been meaning to mail. You can catch up on your Facebook stalking or finally start that blog that you purchased a domain for a year ago. And you can do it all while passively watching the show your friends constantly talk about.
Yet that third episode can make or break your night. If it's one of those series that builds its action slowly — and let's face it, many TV shows are like that these days — something in that third episode is bound to blow your mind. And then you can't STOP watching. You need to see what happens.
And so it begins: That phenomenon we've come to know as “binge-watching.” It's just like binge-eating, except it affects your time and productivity rather than your health.
Binge-watching isn't a problem on the weekends. In fact, it's what weekends were made for.
But binge-watching can creep into your life during the week, and that is when it becomes an issue. Your work, your social life, your hygiene — they all suffer at the hands of binge-watching.
That's when things go downhill. You can't stop watching, but you know you're going to be useless at work tomorrow unless you do. In between episodes loading, when you have roughly 20 seconds to think about yourself instead of your new best friends on screen, a parade of thoughts march through your head.
Here are 24 of those thoughts.
I'm just going to watch one more.
Ok, I can watch one more and still get a full eight hours of sleep.
Wow, I am going to be so tired for work tomorrow.
I'm going to need to be hooked up to an IV of coffee tomorrow.
I should have never started watching this.
I don't need ANOTHER show to be hooked on. I don't have time.
Wait…did that just happen? Holy shit.
I can't stop now. I'm in too deep.
These characters are basically my friends at this point. I have to support them.
This is turning into an addiction. I need help.
Is it still 2016? I feel like I've been watching this for eons.
Why are they asking if I'm still watching?!? Of course I am!
This is what binge-shaming feels like.
Did I just fall asleep and miss something? I thought she was with the other dude.
I can't stop now. I'll forget everything and the last three hours will be a waste.
I'd just have to re-watch tomorrow and that would be way worse.
This laptop is burning my thighs.
There are only three episodes left in this season. I can survive on four hours of sleep.
The season finale BETTER be worth it.
OMG I did it, I finished.
Ugh, that cliffhanger was so stressful. When will the next season be available?
What am I going to do with my life now that I finished this show?
I don't even remember anything I just watched.
Does this mean I actually have to talk to people now?
Binge-watching just got a whole lot less stressful with T-Mobile's Binge On™. Simple Choice users on a qualifying plan are FREE to stream unlimited video on your favorite services like Netflix, HBO NOW, Hulu, and many more without using a drop of your data.