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Watching TV Could Produce Feelings of Failure

Update Date: Jul 24, 2014 08:23 PM EDT

Watching television or playing video games to unwind after a long day could lead to feelings of guilt and failure, according to a new European study.

The latest study, which involved 471 participants, found that individuals who are particularly tired after work or school are most likely to use media as relief. They were also more likely to use media as a form of procrastination instead of taking care of more important tasks.

Therefore, television viewing or video game play actually increased the risk of feeling guilt or lower feelings of recovery and vitality.

The study also found that link between fatigue and media-induced recovery. Researchers found that people who could have benefitted the most from recovery through media use actually experienced lower levels of recovery because they perceived their media use as a sign of their own self-control failure.

"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," Leonard Reinecke of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, said in a news release.

"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," Reinecke said.

The findings are published in the Journal of Communication.

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