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As the Pendulum Swings to the “Binge” Setting

I logged into my account today, and what did I see?

One word: “BINGE.”

Each letter was decorated with television characters.

The message can’t be missed – in this case, the word “binge” refers to watching TV….preferably through Amazon Prime’s Instant Video service.

First of all, as a Business/Marketing major, I must give kudos to Amazon for what is most likely already a very effective marketing strategy (I say this because before I saw it on Amazon, I saw the same strategy being used on Hulu to advertise their “Hulu Plus” TV streaming service).

But now what I thought (hoped) was going to be a very limited, localized ad campaign is spreading.

We – all of us – are being encouraged to “binge” on a variety of things besides substances and so-called “junk” or “bad” food.

Television, exercise, health foods and supplements (aka “orthorexia”), life hacks, anything is fair game for bingeing these days.


While clearly this doesn’t apply in certain situations (heroin abuse, for example), in most cases a big facet of my ongoing recovery work is to replace words like “binge” with a phrase my mom has always used:

Everything in moderation.

Unfortunately for those of us on the moderation bandwagon, moderation doesn’t sell.

This is because moderation doesn’t have “star appeal.”

It isn’t glitzy or glamorous or extreme.

It won’t make news headlines.

It won’t sell anything to anybody (unless perhaps it comes attractively – if deceptively – packaged as “life balance”). 

So we will never be encouraged to watch television in moderation so we still have time to read to our kids and cuddle with our partner before exhaustion hits in earnest.

We will be exhorted to “binge watch” because that sells the most television streaming packages.

The same holds true for anything else someone wants to sell us.

Addiction – bingeing – un-health – this is what marketers and advertisers and companies (the folks I call the “corporate mentors”) want to sell us.

Whether we want to buy what they are selling is up to us.

Today’s Takeaway: How do you respond to ads encouraging you to adopt habits that a) you know are unhealthy, or b) just sound unhealthy? Have you ever found yourself getting sucked in to the appeal of this kind of marketing – in spite of yourself? What do you do to pull yourself out?

As the Pendulum Swings to the “Binge” Setting

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2015). As the Pendulum Swings to the “Binge” Setting. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 May 2015
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