Is heavy binge-watching a socially driven behaviour? Exploring differences between heavy, regular and non-binge-watchers

George Anghelcev, Sela Sar, Justin Martin, Jas L. Moultrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Results of an online survey suggest that heavy binge-watching of serialized video content might be in part socially motivated. Among a sample of US college students, heavy binge-watchers were more likely to be opinion leaders and to experience fear of missing out (FOMO) than regular binge-watchers or non-binge-watchers. They also reported higher levels of parasocial engagement with the shows’ characters than other viewers. Contrary to common beliefs, heavy binge-watching did not come at the cost of decreased social engagement. Quite the opposite: heavy binge-watchers reported spending significantly more time in interactions with friends and family on a daily basis than non-binge-watchers. Heavy binge-watching was also modestly associated with a few negative outcomes (loss of sleep and decrease in productivity).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-221
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Digital Media and Policy
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Keywords

  • binge-watching
  • fear of missing out (FOMO)
  • serial video
  • television
  • video streaming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Media Technology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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