It seems natural to reach for the remote to take a breather after a taxing day of conference calls and TPS reports, but a new study warns that especially work-weary folks who flick on the TV or play video games may feel incredibly guilty and like failures afterward, reports the Independent. Instead of letting the media do its ostensible job of mitigating any 9-to-5 stress, scientists found that certain “ego-depleted individuals” regard these activities as procrastination from more critical tasks and fault themselves for a lack of self-control.
The German and Dutch researchers asked 471 subjects to talk about how they felt after their 9-to-5 toil the previous day, as well as what media they used to veg out, according to a post at Eureka Alert. Even though the study’s authors say that media has been shown in previous research to offer a “recovery experience” for stressed-out working stiffs, this survey seems to indicate the opposite: that worn-out workers who could probably use a decompression session of Orange Is the New Black the most end up feeling like the biggest losers because they think they should be reading Crime and Punishment or cleaning out the garage instead. “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,” says one of the co-authors. (Click to read how food can affect your stress level, too.)