According to Time, “binge-watch” just missed out on being the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year. “Selfie” is the champion. (Is it worse to see a selfie or to lose to “selfie” in the lexicon contest?)
Here’s how the OED defines binge-watch:
binge-watch: (v.) to watch multiple episodes of a television program in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming.
Netflix commissioned a recent study
of binge-watching habits in which they defined binge watching as watching 2-6 episodes in one sitting. That’s quite a range. I prefer my definition of watching a whole season of a show in a week or less because it captures the continuity and follow-through of that truly immersive media experience.
And of course I prefer the phrase “media marathoning” to remove some of those negative connotations associated with rapidly consuming a story. Netflix found that the majority of binge viewers think the practice makes television viewing more enjoyable–and they did not feel guilty afterward. Take that, “binge!” Perhaps we will embrace the practice, reduce the social stigma, and make media marathoning the word of the year in 2014. The campaign begins now.