Healthy lifestyle, digital usage, self-care, career, relationships – it’s all about balance. Everywhere we look there are articles and supposed inspiring quotes about achieving an equilibrium. In a world where we seek limitless possibilities, where everything moves just a little too fast and we can all have almost as much as we want, traditional balance is nearly impossible. Instead – on/off binging is our way to achieve harmony.
We see this most in our consumption of television. Rather than an hour of TV a day, we watch none all week then a lazy Sunday sees us guzzling an entire series in an afternoon. Binging is the only way to watch the latest series of Stranger Things. The days of watching one episode of a drama a week feel pre-historic. We make crazy choices. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said their biggest competitor is sleep.
It’s no longer just Netflix, we’ll binge on anything
For more and more of us social media is feast or famine – we end up on Facebook looking at a school friends posts from 2014 or find ourselves lost in an Instagram rabbit warren. Then suddenly, we take a stand – rule it out of our lives, make pledges to put our phone away, delete the app or even our accounts entirely. So much content consumption seems to be like this – YouTube, Podcasts, favourite bloggers or journalists, it’s all or nothing.
Over the years, our travel has become a much more obsessive affair too. Of course the birth of the gap year was one of our first tastes – an intense 3 months binging on new sights and cultures. But now, even with just one week of holiday, we seek to pack in as much adventure, exploration and wild experiences as possible, then ignore this side of ourselves and hide away behind coffee dates, Friday night drinks and of course Netflix, for the rest of the year.
We even binge calm! Yoga retreats, digital detoxes, self-care weekends. For a few short days they are all-encompassing, honeymoons to recuperate after burning the candle at both ends. True moments of serenity are few and far between and for most absent from our daily routines.
Immersion will help brands get a slice of the action
Immersion calls to us, most of us love the sense of escape – we’re drawn to engaging experiences, things that envelop our senses, and moments like this make us want to stay. Here are 3 things you should think about:
- Showcase the allure – covetable experiences are all encompassing. Be single minded in the feeling you’re looking to elicit – be it empowerment, togetherness or simply something cosy and welcoming, make it powerful.
- Create a whole new world – there’s a reason why Stranger Things and Game of Thrones are some of our favourite binges, they transport us to somewhere completely different. It doesn’t have to be make-believe, we see this same quality in Ted Talks where it’s easy to get lost in a loop of great tips. Brands can also achieve it with physical experiences, just look at Lush.
- Make it easy – we’ll happily be swept along and won’t question it if it feels comfortable. So avoid anything that awakens us and invent new ways of keeping experiences seamless. What’s your equivalent to ‘the next episode will start in 7 seconds’ feature?