Motivation and emotion/Book/2020/TV binge-watching motivation
What motivates TV binge-watching?
Overview[edit | edit source]
Binge-watching, also referred to as binge-viewing or marathon-viewing, is the act of watching content in the form of streaming services through smartphones and tablets and T.V. services for a long duration [as in Fig. 1]. With the advancement of modern technology, we are now afforded the luxury of watching television on demand. Binge-watching may have a positive and detrimental influence on our well-being. It is wired up in our brain as an addiction. But most individuals consider binge-watching to be a stress reliever.
Furthermore, it is an impartially new social phenomenon viewing from two and six episodes of a T.V. series in a single sitting (Netflix, 2013). The phenomenon began to advance in popularity due to the development of several on-demand streaming services, such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, HBO, Apple T.V., and Hulu (Winland, 2015). Besides, the platforms avail the entire season of a T.V. series at once; the consumers may choose from a variety and get to view as much content as they want. It encourages excessive viewing, which is considered marathon watching, unlike the traditional T.V. where the one has to wait for some time, usually one week, before the next episode is released (Starosta & Izydorczyk, 2020).
Background[edit | edit source]
Still, the behaviour was manifested before the advent of the streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime through Digital Video Recorders (DVR), DVD or Video-on-Demand (VOD) (Conlin, 2015; Jenner, 2015). But, the mode of consuming the T.V. series changed with the advancement in technology. For example, the latest studies have shown that 70% of American viewers watch an average of five episodes per binge-watching period; and 88% of Netflix subscribers consume at least three episodes from the same program within each day (Spangler, 2016). Therefore, indicating that the prevailing trend in content consumption has now become binge-watching.
Also, studies show that binge-viewing is gender-neutral behaviour (Starosta & Izydorczyk, 2020). Development in digital technologies can be attributed to creating a new form of watching media, such as T.V. films, and changing individuals' viewing habits (Shim & Kim, 2018). Therefore, the high level of popularity of binge-viewing and the fact that it has become the most common form of consuming television are technological advancements.
Questions to be focused-
1. How many hours of viewing can be referred to as binge-watching?
2. Which factors contributed to the popularity of the binge-watching phenomenon?
3. What are the motivating factors of binge-watching?
4. What are the main motivational theories of binge-watching?
5. Which devices are most likely to be used in binge-watching by different individuals?
|Review of the literature|
|Walton-Pattison et al. (2016) postulate that with the advent of online streaming T.V. services, viewing media has never been so easy. A new behavioural phenomenon has developed: television binge-watching, considering multiple episodes of the same T.V. series in a single sitting. Also, Jenner (2015) states that binge-watching serves the interests of the developing VOD industry and mainly the producers and suppliers of original content, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and, in the U.S. market, Hulu, have been exploring the 'binge model' as a way to distribute content.
Still, Panda and Pandey (2017) examined the motives of binge-watchers. Results showed that social engagement, escape from reality, quick access to information, and advertisement efficacy of content providers (e.g., via viral content trailers) inspired U.S. college students to binge-watch more, and that the more students watch binge, the greater their tendency to spend more time doing so.
Descriptions of the terms used[edit | edit source]
|VOD (Video-on-demand)||A system in which viewers choose their own filmed entertainment, using a P.C. or interactive T.V. system, from a wide selection. [https://www.dictionary.com/]|
|Binge-watching||The practice of watching multiple episodes of a television program in rapid succession, typically using DVDs or digital streaming [https://www.dictionary.com/].|
|Streaming||Streaming media is video or audio content sent in compressed form over the Internet and played immediately, rather than being saved to the hard drive; with streaming media, a user does not have to wait to download a file to play it. Because the media is sent in a continuous stream of data, it can play as it arrives [https://whatis.techtarget.com/]|
Addiction to TV Series[edit | edit source]
A close attachment to the T.V. series' characters makes the viewers addicted to binge-watching: The habit overcomes people's physical, social, and mental well-being. It has become a norm to watch episode after episode leading to a series in one sitting (Tukachinsky & Eyal, 2018). The cost of watching channels and catch-up facilities have become affordable than ever, such as Netflix streaming, making binge-watching a modern epidemic. Most individuals suffer physical effects since they have become more glued to their T.V.s, mobile phones, or tablets. Moreover, one of the greatest snatchers of good health today is sitting still brought about by binge-watching factors. A way to wind down has historically been to watch T.V. It gives temporary relief from work, school, and parenting's everyday tension. But it is easy to detach yourself from other people through binge-watching. It is also easy to escape to your comfort zone out for hours at a time with multiple streaming accounts and numerous ways of watching a T.V. series, such as Netflix [illustrated in Fig. 2]. Nevertheless, sitting for a long time creates compression in the glutes, the discs, and hip flexors, leading to lower back pain and problems with the spinal muscles associated with maintaining posture (Sung et al., 2018).
Binge-Watching[edit | edit source]
The number of episodes viewed during a session, the duration of watching sessions, and the viewed material are usually considered when defining binge-or marathon-viewing. Most research is described as watching several T.V. series episodes in one sitting or using the concept created by Netflix, whereby binge-watching watches between 1 and 6 episodes in one sitting (Winland, 2015). Rubenking and Bracken (2018) concentrated on the duration of attacks and described binge-watching as watching or watching three or more one-hour-long episodes of three to four or more thirty-minute-long T.V. series. Regarding the number of episodes watched, some reports overlooked the styles of binge-watchers—the greater the number of episodes an individual watches, the more troublesome their conduct. Concerning duration, various studies consider the amount of binge-watching sessions each day, week, and month in which individuals participated (Flayelle et al., 2019).
The different meanings of binge-watching, however, typically include terms such as in one sitting" or in one session," which may suggest that most scientists emphasize that it should happen in a row to watch several episodes of T.V. shows (Rubenking and Bracken, 2018; Flayelle et al., 2019). The broad inference that can be drawn concerning the above study is that binge-watching can be defined as watching multiple T.V. show episodes in a single sitting.
Devices Mostly Used for Binge-Watching
The advancements in technology over the years have seen the development of several means of accessing Tv series. Consequently, various platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu have been created for streaming (Report, 2020). The rise of the media led to the development of different devices to access them, like the Amazon Fire T.V. Stick and Google Chromecast.
Google Chrome Cast[edit | edit source]
According to Report (2020), Google has expanded its famous Chromecast streaming stick, making it a healthy option in the device industry. Where previous users were only able to monitor a Chromecast from their mobile phones or P.C., it now ships with a remote that includes YouTube and Netflix one-touch shortcuts, as well as Google Assistant voice search.
Amazon Fire T.V. Stick[edit | edit source]
Amazon's famous platform supports 4K high definition streaming with dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, and 8 G.B. of storage with the 4K version of the Fire T.V. Stick. A new remote provides power and volume control so that when browsing movies and shows, the user does not have to check for your old T.V. small to change the sound (Report, 2020). It also connects with other devices that are connected to the home network of the viewer. Therefore, it provides "access to over 500,000 movies and shows in 4K H.D. via streaming apps" (Report, 2020).
Roku Ultra Streaming Media Player[edit | edit source]
The new remote from Roku has voice control built-in, and when you navigate to your favorite 4k and HDR videos, it can also control the volume of your T.V. and change channels (Report, 2020). The article further postulates that "other than being able to access over 500,000 movies and T.V. shows in 4K via its app selection, it also has USB and micro S.D. ports and can be controlled with voice commands."
Motivated Cognition[edit | edit source]
Motivation may generally be defined as goal-oriented action, often to maximise pleasure and mitigating pain (Madan, 2017). Motivated cognition refers to the effect of motivations on different kinds of thought processes, like perception, processing of knowledge, logic, evaluation, and problem-solving. For social phenomena such as self-evaluation, individual perception, stereotypes, persuasion, and communication, all of these processes are important (Hughes & Zaki, 2015). Besides, the role of motivation is crucial to understand because such research explains mistakes and prejudices in the way people make social decisions and can provide ideas about how to mitigate the negative impact of such motivations (Madan, 2017). Individuals do not necessarily disregard information inconsistent with their intentions. However, motivation tends to instigate careful inspection of the results.
Moreover, Madan (2017) postulates that emotion and motivation are not limited to cognition's motivation level. From the current perspective, motor and self-referential processing effects are often other variables that contribute to selective prioritization of cognitive processes.
Motivation Theories[edit | edit source]
Gratification and Uses Theory[edit | edit source]
The motivation for viewing T.V. series is highly discoursed by different researchers as a psychological characteristic of binge-watching. Various studies apply the Gratification and Use Theory; these theories outline that people apply media, including T.V. and the Internet, to satisfy their needs (Rubenking & Bracken, 2018). Instant Gratification and hedonistic needs linked to engagement, entertainment, and relaxation are the essential explanations as to why individuals tend to binge-watch (Rubenking & Bracken, 2018; Flayelle et al., 2019; Panda & Pandey, 2017).
Binge-watching can also be used by individuals to improve or sustain positive influence or to receive relaxation. People motivated by hedonistic and obsessive motivations can be expected to pursue immediate Gratification and probably binge-watch as soon as this behavior becomes accessible (Conlin, 2015). Some people are also marked by self-development and cognitive motivation to acquire knowledge or information by watching T.V. series (Starosta & Izydorczyk, 2020).
Besides, Steiner and Xu (2018) evaluate the Gratification and Uses theory, according to [Rubin's (2002)] conceptualisation. They outline five different assumptions of the idea: these include:
i. Individuals' communication behaviour, including the choice of media and its application, is goal-oriented.
ii. Next, consumers are dynamic in their application of media networks.
iii. Social and emotional aspects, such as disposition, may facilitate individuals' media application behaviour.
iv. Media compete with other communication methods such as social collaboration to gratify individuals' wants.
v. Media might impact the way individuals hang on various media networks.
Moreover, Steiner and Xu (2018) posit that the "theory is an audience-oriented theory with a typology of audience activities across two dimensions" (p. 5). The first dimension suggests viewers' acquaintance position, which comprises their conduct before, during, and after media experience. The different extent expresses viewers' discernment, media efficacy, and participation.
The theory is also used by video streaming platforms such as Netflix through a determined data system (Dougherty, 2019). It creates personalised recommended content about their watching habits, thereby playing a vital role in the Uses and Gratification theory. Therefore, the idea can be considered a motivation for binge-watching T.V. series (Steiner & Xu, 2018). It can also be applied in examining why individuals prefer binge-watching online T.V. series and what they opt to watch (Dougherty, 2019).
Motivation Factors for Binge-Viewing[edit | edit source]
The most widely researched psychological disorder of binge-watching is the motivation to watch T.V. shows. Much of the study relates to the Theory of Uses and Satisfaction, which describes why people use media to fulfill their needs, such as the Internet, television, and social media. There are several explanations for why individuals are binge-watching. Instant Gratification and hedonistic desires related to entertainment, commitment, and relaxation contribute to the necessary cause (Rubenking & Bracken, 2018). Binge-watching can be used by individuals to improve or sustain positive influence or to receive peace. People motivated by hedonistic and addictive motives can be expected to pursue immediate Gratification and possibly binge-watch as soon as this behavior becomes accessible (Toth-Kiraly et al., 2017).
Additionally, another motivation is of a social type for binge-watching. To become part of the party or the fandom, to feel embraced by their friends, people binge-watch to make social connections (Panda & Pandey, 2017). Besides, Shim and Kim (2018) research shows that individuals appear to be more inclined to watch a T.V. series if others suggest it. Individuals who tend to be heavily interested in binge-watching tend to watch additional episodes of the same series and are more likely to consume more attacks over a given period. These individuals appear to spend more time watching T.V. series and are incredibly inclined to quickly start the next session. And some people are distinguished by self-development and cognitive desire to watch T.V. series to obtain information or knowledge (Shim & Kim, 2018).
It is also fitting to note that the global COVID-19 pandemic may contribute to more frequent binge-viewing behaviours. Individuals have to stay at home and maintain social distancing to look for an entertaining way to spend their time to satisfy their needs and deal with boredom or anxiety. Binge-watching is an extraordinarily compelling and interactive habit, which does seem to be a way of controlling emotions (Conlin, 2015). In particular, it seems essential to research the reasons for binge-watching during pandemic periods. Individuals may binge-view for entertainment purposes or to cope with boredom. However, they can also binge-watch T.V. shows to escape the anxiety induced by fears about the issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In times of isolation, they can even do it to avoid loneliness (Flayelle et al., 2019).
Furthermore, Starosta & Izydorczyk (2020) developed several questionnaires in their study to examine the motivation behind excessive binge-watching among individuals. The present research bases its principles on the factors produced by Starosta and Izydorczyk. The factors outlined by the study include informative, entertainment, escape, social, motivation to deal with loneliness, and to spend free time.
Entertainment Motivation[edit | edit source]
People binge-watch T.V. series to feel good feelings and to have excitement (Starosta & Izydorczyk, 2020). Studies conducted by Sung et al. (2017) indicate that people with low binge-watching severity are usually motivated only by this behaviour's entertaining aspect. However, their regression analysis outcome suggests that using binge-viewing to pass the time is characteristic of individuals who binge-watch more frequently.
Informative Motivation[edit | edit source]
People view T.V. series to look for insight concerning themselves and about the world. Besides, Starosta & Izydorczyk (2020) furthers that "they watch T.V. series to satisfy their cognitive needs" (p. 4). Also, except for lack of discipline and neglect of duties, informative motivation is linked to almost every problem of binge-viewing. It can be concluded that an individual will want to consume all of the information given in the T.V. series, so they begin to participate in this behavior emotionally and cognitively.
Escape Motivation[edit | edit source]
Others binge-watch T.V. series since it lets them avoid their daily life difficulties. There is an essential link between binge-watching and compensatory motives, where binge-watching is a way to prevent problems or negative feelings and escape reality (Flayelle et al., 2019). Panda and Pandey (2017) postulate that individuals are more likely to binge-view to avoid reality, leading to a decline in other more adaptive ways of dealing with adverse emotions.
The Motivation for Spending Free Time[edit | edit source]
Other people view T.V. series based on the fact that it is their habit. It may also be their way to avoid tedium (Starosta & Izydorczyk, 2020). Besides, the research by Starosta & Izydorczyk (2020) indicates that:
"Motivation to spend free time was also a significant factor for Preoccupation. It means that binge-watching is a way to avoid boredom, spend free time alone or with friends, and feel emotionally and cognitively engaged in the narrative. Some research indicates that binge-watching can be a habit, something that people just do to avoid boredom" (p. 10).
Motivation to Deal with Loneliness[edit | edit source]
Other people binge-view to evade feelings of solitude. T.V. series and fictional characters turn out to be friends in their instance of solitariness. They do not have to think about other individuals' lack of company due to that factor (Starosta & Izydorczyk, 2020). Also, research indicates a strong connection between binge-watching and encouragement to cope with isolation, so T.V. series or fictional characters become the companions of the audience in solitude. It is also important to remember that compensatory motives are characteristic of people who exhibit binge-watching behavior patterns that are problematic (Panda & Pandey, 2017).
Social Motivation[edit | edit source]
Some individuals watch T.V. series since they want to create or uphold their social acquaintances (Starosta & Izydorczyk, 2020). Binge-viewing makes it easier for them to spend more time with family or friends. The series may also be a subject of argument between them. Moreover, they binge-view to make social interactions, become part of the group or the fandom, and feel accepted by their peers (Panda & Pandey, 2017). Besides, Shim and Kim (2018) studies show that people tend to have more motivation to binge-view a T.V. series if others recommend it.
The Relationship Between Binge-Watching Motivations and Behaviour[edit | edit source]
Binge-watching may lead to sleep disturbances and low sleep quality. Sleep plays an essential role in mental and physical health and quality of life (Exelmans & Van den Bulck, 2017). It helps the brain function properly and enhances emotional well-being. The overall sleep quality is positively affected by binge-watching since it interferes with the brain's ability to shut off; It takes a long time to fall asleep, especially when the series goes up to the morning (Sung et al., pg 417). Behavioural addiction is another side effect of binge viewing whereby the brain pleasure centre is trickled due to the addictive habit (Flayelle et al., 2019). Besides, the results of binge-watching, including physical and emotional, are all felt concerning the individuals' family, friends, and environmental factors, as demonstrated in figure 3.
When people indulge more often in binge-watching, it may lead to harmful brain and body changes. However, one does not need to stop immediately but rather use several ways to ward off binge-watching's adverse effects (Buis, 2015). First, one should ensure that watching does not prevent them from getting enough sleep. They should determine the right time to go to bed and get enough sleep, and this is helped through setting a bedtime alarm so that one may not lose track of time hence ending up sleeping at the wrong time (Exelmans & Van den Bulck, 2017). Exercise is the primary key to brain development since it generates new cells and connections through neurogenesis (Shim et al., pg.1975). Taking a walk and creating breaks between different binge-watching episodes may help make the body and the brain more active.
The more time one spends binge-watching, the higher the rate of depression and mental health issues (Starosta & Izydorczyk, 2020). Therefore, one needs to balance between friends and binge-viewing since it would enhance one social life. People have to balance between the time they spent alone and the time they have to watch with friends to minimise isolation. Healthy choices should be made on the kind of snacks to be taken while watching the T.V. series (Blaszczak-Boxe, 2015). Fruits and vegetables are the best snacks one can use if there is a craving for something to eat while bingeing (Vaterlaus et al., 2019, pg.478). They should also stay away from eating salty and fatty foods as it may tend to increase their Body Mass Index. When all these tips are incorporated into the T.V. viewing routine, one can create lasting and healthy habits and still enjoy the binge-watching sessions without affecting their brain. Consequently, there is also a need to have more solutions, and this should be done through data-driven research that should be conducted on binge-viewing (Wise, 2018).
Social Impacts of Binge-Viewing[edit | edit source]
The likelihood of developing signs of behavioral addiction is the leading risk behind repetitive binge-watching behaviour. Several studies suggest that a maladaptive coping mechanism characteristic of behavioural addictions such as dysfunctional internet/computer use, gambling, and social media addiction is the use of binge-watching to achieve rapid Gratification and suppress emotions (Flayelle et al., 2019: Panda & Pandey, 2017). The factors that motivate problematic binge-watchers are the desire to escape, deal with depression, habit, or the passage of time from reality (Panda & Pandey, 2017). It has impacted people's social lives, such as going for a walk or dinner, and more often, they do not feel much better or different concerning their excuses for depression or feeling anxious. The situation also makes most binge-watchers avoid work tasks, domestic responsibilities, and avoiding family and friends since they devote much of their time to a peaceful environment for watching the T.V. series. Young individuals are seen as the most addicted individuals who get hooked on the content they consume from several episodes (Blaszczak-Boxe, 2015). The situation makes their executive functions to be less developed, and they become weak as time progresses. It becomes difficult for them to be controlled and be reminded of the consequences since they have been addicted to the watching habit (Flayelle et al., 2019). Besides, they highly defend their behavior and desire to watch since they cannot see the dangers of being addicted and withdrawing from their social life since they spend most of their time glued to their screens.
The gradual reduction in the time spent while watching the T.V. series is critical for this new kind of addiction, mainly due to the new 'stay at home' norm brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. As young people maintain behaviour, it may be the duty to improve their habits by improving their watching practices to provide them with the best model (Shim & Kim, 2018). Researchers have reported many challenges associated with binge-watching, such as less sleep, low sleep quality, tiredness during the day, and higher body mass index among the individuals just before they go to sleep (Exelmans & Van den Bulck, 2017). All the time that should be devoted to socialising, sleeping, and fitness is utilised in binge-watching. The potential health implications of binge-watching are becoming more apparent, raising different questions about human beings' future, as illustrated in this study.
While Sigman (2012) indicates that health risks are recorded to exist beyond exposure to two hours of watching T.V. per day, the average child is exposed three times. A vigorous effort to support a decrease in regular T.V. viewing could significantly improve children's health and development. Binge-watching is associated with non-active sitting, which leads to a higher percentage of body mass index and increases the percentage of body fats (Rosiek et al., 2015). It also leads to inadequate dietary intake and snacking, leading to an imbalanced calorie rate ratio. The situation is associated with more food taking that leads to increased weight. Foods taken during watching series are not the best (Vaterlaus et al., 2019, pg.475). According to recent research, daily engagement becomes a substitute for companionship regardless of the many T.V. series available for watching (Starosta & Izydorczyk, 2020). As long as bingeing is done in moderation, it becomes a good strategy for de-stressing. When bingeing becomes social, it brings a unique kind of pleasure that strengthens relationships, mostly when watching is done with family members.
Conclusion[edit | edit source]
Binge-watching can be cohesive and highly amusing, obsessive and concomitant, to summarize the above elaborations. Individuals are motivated by different binge-watching motives, including those of a social and cognitive type, by transportation into the story or ability to pass the time and avoiding everyday life concerns, controlling negative feelings, and achieving immediate Gratification (Starosta & Izydorczyk, 2020). Besides, Flayelle et al. (2019) stress that it is necessary to distinguish the healthy way of consuming T.V. series from the problematic and inappropriate binge-viewing forms.
The current study examined the different motivations for binge-watching, including the efficiency and perceived control motivations, which demonstrate the practical, utilitarian benefit of binge-watching, fandom, and enjoyment, providing cognitive Gratification (Shim & Kim, 2018). Therefore, leading to the Uses and Gratification theory application, which is mostly applied in motivation and binge-watching research (Steiner & Xu, 2018).
References[edit | edit source]
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Winland, C. (2015). An Exploration of Binge-Watching and Its Effects on College Academic (Master Dissertation). Retrieved from https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54c08e42e4b0f1b78348c9ce/t/5527e9a3e4b0c120ebdc7650/1428679075633/Winland+-+Final+Paper.pdf
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