It seems that everyone I know loves to complain/brag about how much they procrastinated by watching old TV episodes. But according to a new study published by Jaye Derrick at the University at Buffalo, this mode of procrastination, this time-suck, this behavior that makes everyone in Bass hate you because you’re occupying a coveted cubicle to watch Da Ali G Show while they’re slaving away at p-sets, might not be so bad.
Derrick argues that re-watching old TV favorites can help reinvigorate people’s drive to undertake tough endeavors. Will power and self-control are necessarily limited, she says, and while it can get used up in work, well-loved television episodes can help repair focus. “When you watch a favorite re-run, you typically don’t have to use any effort to control what you are thinking, saying or doing… this activity restores your energy.”
I personally feel vindicated. This article is great news to anyone who thought their mid-paper Dawson’s Creek break was detrimental to their focus. My only question concerns Derrick’s remark: “Favorite television shows can actually increase people’s pro-social behavior.” The results of my own unscientific study suggest otherwise.