Srinagar: Since the second Covid wave raged on, Asif, 20, has been on a never-ending streaming service marathon. He binge-watches shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime to find a meaningful escape to his building stress through these OTT platforms.
“I have been constantly bothered about my career and whether the exams will be held on time or not. In order to distract myself, I prefer binge-watching as it relieves anxiety. Also, when we relate to characters or situations in these shows — it makes us feel less alone — especially when we are physically isolated and there are no offline classes,” Asif said.
Similarly, 25-year-old Umar considers binge-watching shows on OTT platforms as a good coping mechanism to deal with the Covid-induced anxiety.
“There are so many interesting web series available which are as insightful and engaging as classical drama or a novel. Besides, I have lost the attention span to read a book during this lockdown period,” he said.
With limited sources of recreation available during the Covid lockdowns, many Kashmiris especially the youth in particular have turned to engage in binge-watching web series on OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
People with binge-watching behavior often watch multiple episodes in a single go. Considering this fact, the tele-industry is spending on making web series that compel people to binge-watching and to promote this behavior often all the episodes of a particular season of web-series are released simultaneously.
Consultant Psychiatrist Institute of Mental and Neurosciences, (IMHANS) Dr. Junaid Nabi said binge-watching can be very addictive and can make you feel good and quieten your anxiety for a time being.
“But, just like any addiction, when this behavior is continued over time, neural patterns and habits become hard to break. It can lead to mood disturbances, sleep disturbances, fatigability, and impairment in self-regulation,” Dr. Junaid said.
Senior Psychologist, Ajaz Ahmad Khan, IMHANS said the best way to manage binge-watching is holding oneself accountable.
“Limit yourself to a smaller number of episodes, such as two or three. Then turn off the TV to balance it with reading or another hobby. Set a timer if needed. Disable the “autoplay” feature so that once an episode concludes the next episode does not automatically start. Keep the curtains open during the day and the lights turned on to not lose a sense of time. Balance physical activities with binging – for every 30 minutes of TV watched exercise for 30 minutes,” Ajaz said.