HAVE you ever binged on a box set?

I ask the question after having heard the phrase uttered several times over the past week.

From people I’ve chatted to in the street, to celebrities on TV chat shows, it seems bingeing on TV series is common practice.

“Did you have a nice Christmas?” I asked a woman I vaguely knew and met in the supermarket. “Yes, I binged on Gossip Girl, chocolate and prosecco,” she replied. One night, she told me, she had watched the American series for seven hours, taking in back-to-back episodes.

Personally, I feel I have had my fill of anything on TV after around three or hours. However much I enjoy something I wouldn’t want to watch it all night.

Yet watching a series for hours and even days on end, is commonplace.

People seem to be watching more and more TV, which goes against the way I was brought up. We children were told that too much television was bad for us. Adults used to scare us by saying we would get square eyes.

Watching TV is also unhealthy. Aren’t we supposed to be encouraging people to get off the sofa, not lounge about for hours watching Game of Thrones and eating popcorn.

People don’t seem to care - now we are watching bigger TVs for longer periods. We are watching more and more films, and back-to-back series than ever before.

More than half of British adults watch more than one episode of the same show back-to-back at least once a month according to media watchdog Ofcom. The regulator carried out research into what it called ‘box set Britain’ and also found that 82 per cent of people aged 16 to 24 watch multiple episodes at least monthly.

And around 10 million Britons have skipped sleep or been tired the next day because they were binge-watching TV.

It’s not just the idea of TV bingeing that I can’t relate to. I feel like I belong to the dark ages when I hear people use terms like ‘streaming on Netflix’, because I don’t know what it means. To be honest, I don’t really know what Netflix is. It’s like a foreign language: stream on demand, Blu-ray, Amazon Prime. What is all that?

I’m still getting used to Channel 4.

Thank goodness I’m not alone. TV chef Paul Hollywood recently spoke out about older people abandoning the Great British Bake Off when it switched to Channel 4 because they are unable to move from BBC1.

“There are people who can’t get past channel one, the older generation, who don’t understand how that works,” he said.

I’m must say I’m not that bad - I have left the BBC comfort zone to watch some of the more offbeat channels like Quest. I even had a bit of a binge one night, when I watched two episodes their Mighty Ships series back-to-back. But that’s as far as it goes.

People also record TV programmes like there’s no tomorrow. My colleague had a conversation with someone who had, the previous evening, recorded six programmes while watching the seventh, then binged on them all.

Binge-watching can’t be good for anyone. One Netflix subscriber in America allegedly watched so much of The Office in one go that someone reportedly got in touch with them to make sure they were okay.

I own two box sets, Father Ted and the IT Crowd. It’s New Year’s Day, I’m off work - maybe I should challenge myself to watch both with no break. If I achieve this maybe I will feel part of the 21st century.