Binge-watching may be a modern cultural phenomenon like no other, but the full extent of the British nation’s addiction to devouring our favourite shows has now been revealed.
Brits are guilty of skipping work, missing their stop on public transport, and even falling out with loved ones as a result of the being glued to their screens.
That’s according to a new study from Three UK, which paints a full picture of the nation’s bingeing habits. Polling over 5,000 members of the British public, the study found that an alarming two-thirds (67%) admit to having devoured an entire TV show in a single-sitting, with 21% saying that bingeing is now the only way to watch TV series, illustrating just how popular the trend has become.
The study revealed the unlikely effects that the great binge-obsession is having on people’s everyday lives, with almost half of respondents (44%) admitting they have felt at a loss after their favourite show has ended, 22% confessing that they regularly find themselves using phrases and language from their most binged-on programme in everyday speech, and a further 9% saying work meetings are increasingly taken up by discussing the latest plot-twists from the in-show of the moment.
The research has been commissioned by Three UK to mark the launch of ‘Go Binge’ - a pioneering new service from the network that allows binge-obsessed customers to watch and listen to popular services including Netflix, TVPlayer, SoundCloud and Deezer, without it counting towards their data allowances.
As part of this, the study also demonstrated some of the more extreme effects of people becoming overly engrossed in their favourite series. These include cancelling a pre-planned night-out with friends (10%), forgetting to shower (7%), pulling a sickie at work to carry on bingeing (5%) and regularly missing their stop on public transport (5%) when bingeing on the go.
The study revealed some interesting trends relating to the important effects bingeing culture is having on our personal relationships as well, with 16% of people saying they watch programmes to feel part of a conversation with friends and family.
One in 20 are guilty of pretending to like something just because a partner enjoys it, with 5% even going as far as to Google a show’s plot to pretend they’ve seen it when they haven’t.
The research found that bingeing doesn’t always prove to be a means of bringing people together however, with 13% also confessing that they have fallen out with a partner after they binge-watched ahead of them, on a show they were supposed to be watching together.
For the most part however, the positive effects of bingeing were demonstrated as part of the study, with over half (53%) of those surveyed admitting that they used binge-watching as a form of relaxation and to reduce stress, while 6% note that a TV series or film has helped them through a tough time – such as a break-up – illustrating the overarching positive influence it plays in people’s everyday lives.
A Three spokesperson said: “The bingeing trend has grown to play a hugely significant role in our culture and everyday lives. Even when we’re not actually watching something, the latest binge-worthy series is sure to be dominating conversation whether it’s at home with friends and family, or even in the office with colleagues, illustrating just how big a phenomenon it has become. Not only does our research show this, but it also demonstrates the interesting way people’s bingeing habits continue to across the UK – whether it’s how, where, when or with who!”
“This study of the nation’s bingeing habits reflects our desire as a network to better understand and listen to our customers, as a means of providing with the services they expect and rid them of the niggles that bring the mobile industry down. Our new ‘Go Binge’ is a continuation of this belief, giving people the freedom to use their data to stream their favourite shows and music without any boundaries and without worrying about restrictive data allowances and charges.”