The word binge will conjure different images for different people. Some will immediately think of a Netflix series they watched in next to no time, others may think of food, for others the word will be more about alcohol and partying.
However we think of binging (sic), it now seems to be a part of modern culture. It can take up time, make us happy or unhappy and is often a substitute for real life experiences, but all of us will binge on something at some point in our lives.
The way we consume things has changed. Netflix, social media, apps and other technological advances now put what we want within touching distance. Don’t fancy cooking? Simple, just order from deliveroo. Looking for some companionship and/or sex? Tinder and other apps can help with that. So much of what we want in life is now readily available at the click of a button.
The topic of this blog may be uncomfortable to some and without meaning to come across as an edgy writer for ‘Vice’, that’s too bad. It is important to recognise that we can’t eat or fuck our feelings away. Whilst there is nothing wrong with over indulging from time to time, binging can’t become a habit without having a detrimental effect on both mental and physical health.
When we look at the news and current affairs, the way we interact with and get our news is entirely different from 10 years ago. Twitter for instance allows you become part of an evolving news story. There are ‘hot takes’ from tribal factions on both sides of the argument and often that becomes as important, if not more than the original story. Columnists and talk show hosts become the pantomime villain or saviour supreme depending on which side of the argument you are on. Almost everyone has an opinion and more often that not, they will feel emboldened to share these views for likes, comments and debate.
A lot of this is due to social media. Some will have grown accustomed to hearing people talk about a social media detox, this is due to their binging on the very platforms that claim to bring us together. The reality is often quite different.
As we approach a date many in England will have been keenly waiting for the word binge comes into focus again..
The pub, that great British institution that is held so dear to so many patrons up and down the country. It has influenced culture, been the hub of the community and the venue for violence and heated debate for centuries. With apologies to our American cousins, July 4th has historically not been a date of celebration in England. For plenty there will be a party atmosphere a week this Saturday. Binge drinking has been a problem here for a long time and with the NHS and police force both having been stretched in recent times, it may well be they are called upon again. Binge culture, it would seem, is here to stay.