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It’s All About Time: There’s Too Much Binge Watching in Our House

Time—in my book, there’s never enough. In today’s busy world of endless emails, texts, and piles of work, I am always longing for more time.

Yet, I find myself in countless conversations about Netflix, Amazon Prime, and podcasts: You of all people would LOVE Mrs. Maisel; I can’t believe you haven’t listened to Serial; and We stayed up until 2 a.m. watching the whole first season. You’ll love it.


Time used to be measured in seconds, minutes, and hours—now it is (apparently) measured in media binges. My children are shining examples:

Child #1

“Honey, have you thought about a summer job?” He looks at me like I have six heads.

“Mom, it’s December.”

“Yeah, I know, that’s a great time to start thinking about it.”

Guttural noise from child ensues—an exclamation point on the “you’re-so-annoying” sentence that started with his eyes.

“I will. I just want to relax over break. I’ve got plenty of time.” Earbuds back in, Season 11 of Criminal Minds rebooted.

I have to Google: How many hours to watch—and the rest of the sentence appears—the entire Criminal Minds series. 225 hours. Two hundred twenty-five hours.

He’s right—he has plenty of time.

Child #2

She is a master of organization, time management, and getting her world in order.

“Whatcha got today?” I inquire.

Her eyes hold the same message as her brother’s.

“I have to finish my English reading, study for a chemistry test, clean up my room, and I want to work on my camp application.” Her stress is palpable.

But then she adds, “Also, I want to finish this season of Friends.”

“Wait, I thought you finished all of Friends.”

“Um, yeah, I’m re-watching the whole series.” Wait, what?!?!?!??!!?!?? Is this the palpable stress?  She may not get to re-watch the whole series?

85 hours. Times 2. 170 hours.

Child #3

I hear my phone chirping—a FaceTime call from college son. He is lying in his bed on a Sunday afternoon.

“Hey buddy, how are you?”

“Exhausted,” he replies, rubbing his eyes.

“Busy weekend?”

“Yeah, just a lot of work to do. Busy week coming up.”

“So, what’s on tap for today?”

“Just finishing an episode of The Office, then heading to the library.”

(For reference, that’s The Office, binged summer of 2016. All 74 hours, in 6 days.)

The Exhausted Parents

My husband to me at 9 p.m.:

“Hon, do you want to watch Bodyguard?”

I hesitate.

“Okay—but only the first season.”

Stephanie Schaeffer Silverman is publisher of Your Teen Magazine.

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