Slumping into the couch after a long day and turning on the television or firing up a video game just doesn’t work if you want to decompress, researchers say.
Those with high stress levels after work get couch potato guilt and feelings of failure, according to a study in the Journal of Communication.
Researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, and VU University Amsterdam found that people who are very fatigued after work or school showed a higher tendency to feel their media use is a form of procrastination.
They feel they’ve succumbed to a desire to use media instead of taking care of more important tasks.
Prior research has shown the use of entertaining media produces a “recovery experience”, which helps psychologically detach from work stress and relax.
It also provides a mastery experience such as when you beat a computer game or watch a thought provoking movie.
Leonard Reinecke of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz says 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.
“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,” he says.
Now take a look at these shoppers couch-dozing without guilt: