We all spend a lot of time reading and watching things on screens these days. There are health problems from it (you’ve heard of “tech neck,” right?), and marathoning has become a couch sport – not just a long race for athletic types. Now, a new study by Civic Science (that I read about in the September issue of Women’s Health mag) reveals that what we choose to spend time scrolling through can predict whether we’re happy or sad.
On Social Media
People who spent time creating and pinning to boards on Pinterest fared the best, because it’s a platform that encourages creative expression. It’s less about getting validation or approval from others, and more about fulfilling your artistic (or cooking or decorating) impulses, which is more pleasurable.
On the Big Screen
Whether you’re watching oldie-but-goodies on Netflix, or catching the latest blockbuster at the multiplex, those who chose dramas were happier, while people who took in horror movies were the bluest. While the latest slasher can be entertaining, it’s hard to relate to the characters, or picture yourself in the film. People who can commiserate with the actors on screen get more out of watching.
Sports fans rejoice! People who watch five to 10 hours of their favorite teams a week fare better emotionally than those who don’t log any time cheering (or yelling as the case may be) at the TV screen. Fan girls and boys gain a sense of community with their fellow fans, and feel a part of something bigger. Those who skip the fantasy leagues and read a book on game day miss out.
Image by Craig Sunter