Fusion's Guide to Healthy Binge-Watching


Season 2 of Orange is the New Black was just released on Netflix, meaning many loyal fans will not be sleeping until they binge-watch all 13 episodes. We all know what happened with House of Cards—more than a half million people watched all 11 hours of the new season in just three days, which of course is insane. But can you blame them?

As great as it is to have the option of watching 11 straight hours of TV, things can get dicey in the world of Netflix/TV binging. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide to shepherd you through the madness.

1) Do NOT live-Tweet and/or Facebook update

It used to be that watching television was a communal experience. “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” the 1983 series finale episode of M*A*S*H, was watched by more than 105 million people. Seinfeld’s final episode in 1998 garnered 76.3 million viewers. Then the advent of the Internet happened and, coupled with the increase of television sets per household, TV-watching became a thing of solitude.

People argue that platforms like Twitter and Facebook are bringing back the social aspect of watching television, and while there’s certainly some truth to that—one only needs to look at Black Twitter whenever Scandal is on—the reality is that it’s only making you look like an annoying person who’s not as clever as he/she thinks. Here’s the dirty little secret no one has the heart to tell you: Everyone secretly wishes you would disappear from the face of the earth every time you tweet something inane and obvious that you’re hoping comes across as witty.

So, the moral of the story? Put away your phone and/or computer when you’re watching Orange is the New Black. Not only are you not saying anything of interest, but you’re more than likely spoiling it for those that haven’t had a chance to carve out a 13-hour block for binge-watching.

2) Avoid social media

This is very much related to the previous one but it merits to be its own entry. Chances are that somebody will completely disregard the above bit of information and spoil what happens towards the end of the season. These people really do exist—they are horrible monsters who should be shot on sight—-and they will ruin the show for you. Twitter and Facebook are spoiler land mines so avoid them altogether.

3) Set limits for yourself

This, of course, is much easier said than done. But seriously, don’t try to be a hero and plow through the entire series. Just because you can watch a show for half the day doesn’t mean you should. Spending that much time in front of a TV will give you migraines.

Make sure you also stick to your self-imposed rules. Don’t cancel on plans or be late just to watch another episode.

4) If you agree to watch with a friend or partner, do NOT skip ahead.
Netflix Adultery is not a joke. It can be a relationship-killer
(mine, for example, ended shortly after I stayed up to watch the final episode of Sherlock series 1 by myself.)
The only way to get around this is to rewatcheach episode with your viewing buddy. The key here is to pretend like you’ve never seen it before. Again, easier said than done.

5) Be Prepared for Post-Watching Depression

Congratulations, you’ve completed the whole series! But wait, why do you feel depressed and glum? Because you’ve come to the realization that devoting so much time to one task was not worth it. Hey, it happens.

So what to do? Take a break, go outside and get some sunlight. Don’t worry, season three of House of Cards will come around soon enough.

Alexandra DiPalma is a producer for Fusion Lightworks, Fusion’s In-house Branded Content Agency.

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