We all know the joy of binge watching some television show we have discovered on Netflix that really hit us in the right spot. Maybe the show came out three or four seasons ago but we never got around to checking it out. We heard the buzz but it just got away from us. Then on some rainy Friday night, you finally decide to watch that pilot episode of Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead or Mad Men. Then you look up on Wednesday afternoon and you realized that you haven’t left the house- only taking short time-outs from the couch to fix something to eat, visit the restroom and (hopefully) to jump in the shower. It was just that good to you. Once you got a taste you were hooked.
Experts will offer every argument in the world for why that is an unhealthy thing to do but I don’t’ give a damn. It really feels good while you’re doing it, you aren’t hurting anybody, and how often is something going to catch your attention THAT good anyway? So I say ride it out while it lasts and then wake up to the real world. It will still be there when you emerge from the man-cave. But I have recently discovered that because of the pervasive nature of social media and the advancement of communications technology we now have the ability to binge watch people too. And some people are far more entertaining than any television show. But there actually can be some damage here.
I can speak from personal experience and tell you that if you get out of a six month relationship with a woman and you feel like Tim Robbins in the Shawshank Redemption when he escaped from prison after 20 years you have probably survived the ordeal of being binge watched.
Here’s how it goes: You wake up in the morning about the same time every day and she’s expecting a “Good morning” text message. She has figured out the approximate time you head to work so she’s expecting to talk to you on your way in. Through soft inquiries and astute observation, she knows about when you have your weekly meetings and when you take lunch so she’s looking to hear from you then. Should you miss a text or a call at any of those standard times, you are likely to be dealing with a pain in the ass of her attitude later.
See, she knows what you are up to because she’s reading your Twitter feed or looking at your Facebook activity- or maybe even checking on what’s going on at work through your company’s social media.
Yes, this chick is crazy but what she’s doing isn’t exactly stalking because she’s not around physically and its not like you are in any danger. She is just keeping tabs on your ass every minute of every day so that she knows how much of your time and energy she is getting. She really wants to pour you on a plate and sop you up with a biscuit. So if she suspects that you are having ANY kind of fun or recreational engagement that doesn’t involve her, here come the butt-ass-naked selfies- five and six at a time to make sure you know what you’re missing.
Plus because she’s all up in your social media, blog or whatever you’ve got going on, she is effectively monitoring your engagements with other people. She digs your flavor so she wants it all to herself- which is ok, but can a man marinate the meat and roast it slow for you so you can enjoy serving it as much as she enjoys devouring it? I’m just saying. And to be clear, this is NOT an issue of stalking. You are partly at fault because you should have started doing that long-ass buffering thing that Netflix does when it is getting worn out of you riding its ass like you’ve got nothing else to do. This is binge-watching. And although many things are, this one is NOT gender driven. I have a daughter in her twenties who is very attractive and I have had to counsel her through dealing with men that do the same sh*t.
So here’s the thing- and I am offering this with love and not condemnation- if you are binge watching any person you’ve got to knock that sh*t off immediately. Because just like Netflix, when they start buffering, it means that you are losing your connection. But unlike Netflix it can really be tricky getting it back online.
My take on it is that as soon as you find yourself willing to climb through an underground sewage tunnel to escape like Tim Robbins, it’s a done deal. It can’t be turned around even if you manage to hang in there for a while. After a while you’d rather butt-floss with barbed-wire than to get stuck in her “recently watched” feed again. The point is you can burn a person out. Just because you have the capability to know almost every little step they take doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can research them online and learn all kinds of sh*t about them that they have not mentioned to you themselves yet doesn’t mean you should.
For many many years before social media and the almighty i-phone human beings managed to meet, connect, date and mate just fine. Our chemistry made us do what we did, not our online profiles.
Sometimes it worked out and sometimes it didn’t. And obviously hedging our bets with all of our inspector gadget capacities still hasn’t improved our performance in romance. Sometimes they are just meant to fail. There is no need in driving yourself crazy in the process. So if you want to binge watch Don Draper and Walter White, have at it. But please, pretty please, with sugar on top, do NOT binge watch a brother like me. I’ll save you the suspense: that is a show that will not end well.