Lonely People Like to Binge-Watch TV

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Binge-watching a TV show on Netflix or Hulu is one of the great pleasures of modern life, but now a study from the University of Texas at Austin is going to make you feel weird about it. According to the results of research led by Yoon-Hi Sung, the more lonely or depressed you are, the more likely you are to binge-watch. 

Via EurekAlert, here’s a rundown of Sung and her team’s findings, which they’ll be presenting at the 65th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in San Juan, Puerto Rico:

The researchers conducted a survey on 316 18- to 29-year-olds 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 negative feelings. 

The findings also showed that those who lacked the ability to control themselves were more likely to binge-watch. 

This is one of the first attempts to understand the psychology of binge-watching, a term that only entered the vernacular relatively recently. So it’s notable for that reason, even if the findings themselves may not be all that surprising. After all, who needs real friends now that we’ve got Netflix Friends