Reflecting on my own TV watching I feel there’s four main types:
- Entertain me – something I’m looking forward to watching. It has anticipation attached to it. Examples this year included GoT, The Witcher, Unbelievable, The Mandalorian.
- Spend time with me – something, anything, that I watch with Michele (my wife). It has emotion attached to it. I look forward to spending time with her, and it doesn’t really matter what it is we watch.
- Relax me – something that I’ll watch to unwind when I’m exhausted at the end of the day.
- Distract me – anything to fill the time. It has habit and boredom attached to it. It’s also likely to include a lot of time switching between platforms (Netflix, Stan, iView, etc) and flicking through shows trying to find something to take my mind off the void in my life.
Your experiences will likely be different, but perhaps you can relate a little.
I think types 1 and 2 are useful uses of time. Binge watching can be fine in moderation with both of these.
Type 3 can be useful, although it is also easily interchangeable with other activities (eg reading, playing, music).
Type 4 is something I want to purge from my life.
In the past I’ve judged myself (harshly) for watching too much TV. But it turns out I needed to be more nuanced. It isn’t that TV itself is bad (or good), rather it’s the type of TV that needs to be monitored.