Lonely souls find solace in binge-watching TV

Washington, Jan 30 (IANS) The more lonely and depressed you are, the more likely you are to binge-watch television, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have found.

Those who lacked the ability to control themselves were more likely to binge-watch.
These viewers were unable to stop clicking “next” even when they were aware that they had other tasks to complete.
“Even though some people argue that binge-watching is a harmless addiction, findings suggest that binge-watching should no longer be viewed this way,” said lead researcher Yoon Hi Sung.
Physical fatigue and problems such as obesity and other health problems are related to binge-watching and they are a cause for concern.
When binge-watching becomes rampant, viewers may start to neglect their work and their relationships with others.
“Even though people know they should not, they have difficulty resisting the desire to watch episodes continuously. Our research is a step toward exploring binge-watching as an important media and social phenomenon,” Sung explained.
For the study, the researchers conducted a survey on 316 youngsters in age group 18-29 on how often they watched TV, how often they had feelings of loneliness, depression and self-regulation deficiency and finally on how often they binge-watched TV.
They found that the more lonely and depressed the study participants were, the more likely they were to binge-watch TV, using this activity to move away from the negative feelings.
The authors will present the findings at the 65th annual conference of the International Communication Association in San Juan, Puerto Rico in May.