I‘m a lover of TV and flicks, and particularly so throughout winter months, when it is usually chilly and grey exterior. With the climate and small variety of daylight in cahoots, urging me to cuddle up on the sofa with my distant, it solely is sensible that I might need to lean in. What’s stunning to me, although, is that fairly than watch the endless-seeming choices of latest content material out there on what looks like 1,000,000 completely different streaming platforms, I usually discover myself wanting to go to my outdated fictional mates with a rewatch of TV reveals and flicks I’ve already seen.
Generally I do like to look at new content material, however I nonetheless discover myself navigating to Netflix to look at New Woman once more often. The acquainted plot factors and characters really feel as heat and comforting as my blanket.
It turns on the market’s a cause we like to look at the identical TV reveals and flicks, and that has to do with the relationships we construct with the characters and the consolation we get from watching one thing acquainted. Retreating again to the acquainted could be a therapeutic balm for a number of causes.
Rewatching TV reveals and flicks can relieve choice fatigue
Looking for out the acquainted—on this case, a beloved TV present or film—is a technique to calm ourselves after a lengthy day spent making choices. Some selections are higher-stakes than others, however even seemingly inconsequential conditions—like needing to plan what’s for dinner—can result in choice fatigue.
Choosing a TV present to look at is among the many lower-pressure choices you’ll encounter all through the day, however can nonetheless contribute to a way of feeling overwhelmed by alternative (see: numerous choices on a zillion platforms). Seeing acquainted storylines and faces can provide the mind a relaxation from coping with the unknown and the necessity to make choices.
“Watching one thing comforting can take away the stress concerned within the infinite selections at our disposal and the consequential power drain” —Sabrina Romanoff, PhD
“Watching one thing comforting can take away the stress concerned within the infinite selections at our disposal and the consequential power drain,” says licensed psychologist Sabrina Romanoff, PhD. The identical additionally explains why we additionally identical to the perceived security of the acquainted, she says.
Established order bias, the concept folks select to stay with what they know as an alternative of one thing new when confronted with a alternative between the 2, is concerned right here, too. Sticking with acquainted selections that we all know the end result of is a protection mechanism that “protects in opposition to disappointment, and supplies predictability and the phantasm of management over your atmosphere,” Dr. Romanoff says.
A rewatch could make you are feeling such as you’re catching up with mates
Our familiarity with the characters in these reveals is at play, too. For me, repeated rewatches of New Woman looks like catching up with outdated mates. This permits me to type parasocial relationships, or relationships of the creativeness, the place I develop a way of connection to those characters who not solely cannot reciprocate my emotions but additionally do not even exist.
If parasocial relationships develop intense to the purpose of absorbing your ideas or shifting your each day functioning, it might be trigger for concern and maybe skilled intervention. However a extra informal dynamic—like a star crush—stands to offer interpersonal wants, like “filling a social or romantic void in your life, gaining a way of assist or inspiration from that individual, or having sturdy emotions of admiration for them,” therapist Emily Simonian, LMFT, head of studying at nationwide remedy apply Thriveworks beforehand informed Effectively+Good.
Characters with whom we now have a parasocial relationship may be relatable, or be a mirror or lens to look at or replicate on our personal feelings and experiences, says Daniel Lieberman, MD, Medical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington College’s College of Drugs & Well being Sciences: “Massive elements of our mind are devoted to forming social relationships, and we really develop a connection to the characters and expertise emotions which might be just like how we really feel about our mates.”
After a protracted day, doing all that you just do, does not it make sense that you just’d need to simply hang around with the chums you already know?
Are there downsides to rewatching the TV reveals and flicks?
Not fairly, however it’s essential to know the position that nostalgia performs in main somebody to need to rewatch TV reveals and flicks. For me, New Woman evokes recollections of household and emotions of closeness to them. I used to look at it with my little brother who now lives throughout the nation, so watching it by myself jogs my memory of spending time with him, which is directly good and unhappy.
Nostalgia is commonly thought to be a constructive sensation related to glorifying the previous, however analysis has additionally linked it to emotions of disappointment within the current. A research printed in 2019 within the Journal of Persona and Social Psychology discovered that it may well current as a mixed-to-negative emotion in day-to-day life. Within the research, a gaggle of undergraduate college students who accomplished each day questionnaires reported feeling extra nostalgic on days once they have been careworn and lonely.
However is that this habits ever unhealthy? It may be if we depend on the acquainted to the purpose the place we don’t have interaction with new experiences. The hot button is to strike a steadiness between the brand new and acquainted; whereas new experiences can really feel uncomfortable and scary, they’re crucial for continued progress. “What the mind wants is a mix, and completely different people require completely different mixtures of the novel and acquainted,” Dr. Lieberman says. “The hazard is getting caught in a rut, and at that time it isn’t going to contribute to your psychological well-being, it’s going to detract from it.”
However, that recommendation applies to new experiences within the scope of your complete life, not simply your TV- and movie-viewing preferences. With that in thoughts, I am going to proceed to really feel nice about watching New Woman on loop, however I am going to additionally keep in mind to not undertake “embracing the acquainted” as my life’s mantra. There’s worth in searching for out new issues, whether or not it is a new present or a extra impactful life choice.