Damn. Binge Watching Netflix Is Linked To Depression, Loneliness.
Damn. Well, we all probably knew this to be true. We knew that the lot of us, those who prefer to stay curled up under our covers and develop parasocial relationships with the entire cast of House of Cards, we knew we were maladjusted, we knew that we didn’t possess the same joie de vivre as most everyone else.
But dammit, that’s only because it’s winter. Don’t tell me I’m depressed just because it’s cold outside and Scandal is cliffhanger city.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what researchers at the University of Texas are doing. Per Salon:
There’s a strong link between depression and loneliness and the amount of television we binge on in single sittings.
The research team surveyed more than 300 young adults on their TV viewing habits and their emotional states, and found that the more lonely and depressed you are, apparently, the more likely you are to down an entire season of “Game of Thrones” in one fell swoop.
Dang, but isn’t everyone else doing it, too? Yep. We’re all just one miserable mass of humanity. From Newsweek:
Seventy-five percent of study responders said they binge-watched, doing so mostly on streaming websites such as Netflix and Hulu. C
The authors, who concede that they too binge-watch, were correct: they discovered a correlation between binge-watching and loneliness, depression, and having self-regulation deficiency, which is an inability to control compulsions.
For people who feel lonely or depressed, the authors suggest, binge-watching allows them to escape from negative feelings. And the more episodes someone watches, the longer that person can escape. Experts call this an avoidance coping strategy.
“This should no longer be viewed as a ‘harmless’ addictive behavior,” the researchers conclude in the paper.
I’ve watched four seasons of The West Wing since Halloween, but that’s only because I have no friends in New York and never have anything to do and I miss home.