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Is binge-watching bad for students? Here’s what you can do about it!

first_imgChildren today live in a world of instant gratification, with everything available immediately at the click of a button. In times of flash-fiction, microblogging, and 140-character tweets, patience doesn’t exactly run high.Not long ago, watching a television series meant a near agonising wait of an entire week before a new episode of the show finally aired. Though frustrating at times, the gap allowed for many animated discussions and wild predictions of what was to come next. A lot has changed with the proliferation of online streaming – and though one can’t deny the convenience of watching content on demand, this transition has come with it’s share of psychological implications.As we get engrossed in the lives of characters and move from one cliffhanger to the next, our brain continuously produces dopamine, the neurotransmitter which activates the reward center of the brain and gives a feeling of a high.As individuals remain glued to their screens, they tend to ignore other aspects of life – be it academics or friendships.For many, it provides an escape from otherwise difficult life situations – a maladaptive way of coping with stressors. In a way, excessive viewing also promotes social isolation, wherein people get cocooned in front of their screens and do not experience the need or opportunity to spend more time with friends and family members.Here’s how binge-watching affects your health:At the same time binge-watching can significantly impact one’s health as well, leading to difficulties in sleep, changes in eating patterns all the while promoting a more sedentary lifestyle. At the same time, we also must be cognizant of the impact of the specific content being watched – over five decades of research has established that children learn by observing the actions of others, be it real or reel life.advertisementHow to safeguard children against the negative impacts of binge-watching:Given these concerns, media literacy is the only way forward to safeguard children against the negative impacts of binge-watching. Students need to be given skills to differentiate between what’s real and what’s notAs adults, we need to have conversations with students about what they’re watching, so that we’re able to help them filter the plethora of information they passively consumeAt the same time, there needs to be a balance watching shows and movies need not be harmful. In fact, besides being a source of enjoyment and entertainment, there is lots that children and teenagers can learn about the world from watching diverse contentRather than watching an entire series at one stretch, students must be encouraged to intersperse watching videos with other forms of recreation. Sports and other outdoor activities, reading books, as well as artistic pursuits such as music, art or dance need to be given due importance.Children learn from watching adults:At the same time, we must remember that children learn from watching adults. As parents, many of us have let go of our own hobbies, instead choosing to spend most of our free time in front of the screen, catching up with our favorite shows. If we truly want young students to take a break from the screen, it’s time we introspect and do the same ourselves.Authored by Dr Samir Parikh, Director, Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare.READ: Why we cannot stop playing PUBG: Gaming addiction health problems and why no one talked about a Candy Crush banRead: Game-based learning benefits: The new education process that can change everythingRead: Gaming as a career option: Lucrative career options in the gaming industrylast_img read more