People who use media like video games and television as stress busters are more likely to feel guilty and consider themselves failures in life, a new study finds.
Many previous studies have highlighted that media greatly helps to boost a person's self esteem and makes them feel stress-free. Shedding more light on this topic, researchers found that people who use such means as stress busters are more likely to feel guilty and consider themselves a failure in life.
"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," study author Leonard Reinecke said in a press statement.
The study was conducted by a team of international researchers who surveyed 471 participants. The subjects were asked to report what media they used, how they felt the preceding day and how they felt after work. 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.
Researchers noted that these findings were quite interesting. Ideally, people who feel depleted after work or school should benefit immensely from using media as a self recovery tool. Instead, they felt that the usage of social media indicated their own failures in life.
"Our study 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," Reinecke said. "We are starting to look at media use as a cause of depletion. In times of smart phones and mobile Internet, the ubiquitous availability of content and communication often seems to be a burden and a stressor rather than a recovery resource."
The study was published in the Journal of Communication.