Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using media as stress reducer can lead to feelings of guilt, failure

Date:
July 24, 2014
Source:
International Communication Association
Summary:
After a long day at work, sometimes you just want to turn on the TV or play a video game to relax. This is supposed to make you feel better. But, a recent study found that people who had high stress levels after work and engaged in television viewing or video game play didn't feel relaxed or recovered, but had high levels of guilt and feelings of failure.

It seems common practice. After a long day at work, sometimes you just want to turn on the TV or play a video game to relax, decompress. This is supposed to make you feel better. But, a recent study published in the Journal of Communication, by researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, and VU University Amsterdam, found that people who had high stress levels after work and engaged in television viewing or video game play didn't feel relaxed or recovered, but had high levels of guilt and feelings of failure.

Leonard Reinecke (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) and Tilo Hartmann and Allison Eden, (VU University Amsterdam) surveyed 471 participants to think about the preceding day and report how they had felt after work and what media they had used. The researchers found that people who were particularly fatigued after work or school showed a higher tendency to feel that their media use was a form of procrastination. They felt that they succumbed to their desire of using media instead of taking care of more important tasks. As a result, they had a higher risk of feeling guilty about their media use. These feelings of guilt diminished the positive effects of media use and reduced recovery and vitality after media use.

The results also suggest a paradoxical pattern between depletion and media-induced recovery: Those depleted individuals who could have benefitted the most from recovery through media use, instead experienced lower levels of recovery because they took their media use as a sign of their own self-control failure.

Prior research has shown that the use of entertaining media produces a "recovery experience," that helps us to psychologically detach from work stress and relax, but also provides mastery experience (e.g., when you beat a computer game or watch a thought-provoking movie) and a feeling of control during leisure time. As a result, people feel energized and more vital after media use and even show stronger cognitive performance thanks to media-induced recovery.

"We are beginning to better understand that media use can have beneficial effects for people's well-being, through media-induced recovery. Our present study is an important step towards a deeper understanding of this. It demonstrates that in the real life, the relationship between media use and well-being is complicated and that the use of media may conflict with other, less pleasurable but more important duties and goals in everyday life," said Reinecke. "We are starting to look at media use as a cause of depletion. In times of smartphones and mobile Internet, the ubiquitous availability of content and communication often seems to be a burden and a stressor rather than a recovery resource."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Communication Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Leonard Reinecke, Tilo Hartmann, Allison Eden. The Guilty Couch Potato: The Role of Ego Depletion in Reducing Recovery Through Media Use. Journal of Communication, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/jcom.12107

Cite This Page:

International Communication Association. "Using media as stress reducer can lead to feelings of guilt, failure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724094216.htm>.
International Communication Association. (2014, July 24). Using media as stress reducer can lead to feelings of guilt, failure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724094216.htm
International Communication Association. "Using media as stress reducer can lead to feelings of guilt, failure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724094216.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins