For today’s post, I wanted to create a list of all the television shows that I am going to shamelessly watch over the Christmas holidays. While creating the post, I was hesitant on using the term “binge-watch” to describe my television watching because of its addictive connotations. I googled “is the term ‘binge-watch’ problematic?” (yes, I actually google these sorts of things) and I stumbled upon this article, an unintelligent piece written by an author who definitely doesn’t care about problematics.
My immediate reaction to the article was defensive. My room mates and I have no shame over the fact that we often use television to de-stress. Personally, I consider it a great (although, “unhealthy”) form of self-care. Watching television is a great way to momentarily avoid reality (and no, I don’t consider the avoidance of reality a bad thing). Sometimes I will sleep to de-stress or relax, and I consider excess sleeping habits much more unhealthy than watching television. For me, “binge-watching” television is a great alternative to other methods of avoidance.
The article relies on “shock value” and it doesn’t really deserve any critical attention because it’s simply a terrible piece. And it’s really problematic. For example, I had issues with how the article discussed drug-use and excessive eating in negative and offensive ways; the author also comically relates television watching to addiction and shames individuals dealing with addiction in the process.
The article also shames television lovers, and simultaneously negates those who practice self-care through television watching. As well, the piece fails to mention the ways in which television can stimulate intellectual thinking- for example, I constantly analyze T.V shows for intersectional and feminist content. My brain is never turned off when I’m watching television, rather, it always remains critically active.
That’s my little defensive rant. If you’re wondering why I even bothered critiquing the article, it’s because I’m sick society’s subtle shaming of “abnormal behaviour”. It doesn’t matter if the author intended to be offensive or not. Even “innocent” jabs at mental illness affect stereotypes and stigma. What are your thoughts on the methods of self-care that are considered “unhealthy”?