Have you ever spent entire evenings watching a series that you hate? If so, there is nothing abnormal about this, and scientific research has even looked into this phenomenon, described as “hate-watching”, which can be translated as hateful viewing.
Hateful viewing, happy viewing?
In a study published in November 2022 in the European Journal of Social Psychology, researchers analyzed this concept. Among the most glaring examples of criticized programs which were ultimately a hit during their broadcast, we can notably cite Emily in Paris. This Netfix series suffered a barrage of criticism when it was released, but that did not prevent it from recording 60 million spectators in one month of broadcast.
Concretely, the public can be animated by a feeling of hatred towards content. The latter is superior to aversion in the sense that it hurts us deeply. Distressing dialogue and poorly written or poorly played characters can trigger a form of anger or inner revolt. This therefore leads us to react, for example by publishing a tweet about a program or sending a message to a loved one.
According to the website Psychology Today, hatred is also occasionally capable of making us happy, even if it is a negative emotion. When faced with a hated series, we feel something intense which triggers reactions in our brains, including the release of adrenaline, or the activation of a flight or fight response. But, while no danger is palpable, this then transforms into the release of happiness hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, specify our colleagues.
Similarly, hatred can be a way of uniting friends or supporters in opposition to a series, while continuing to watch it. Certain communities are thus based on the Internet, and this unfortunately also generates toxicity.
Overall, however, these hateful views remain relatively harmless and bring, as we have just seen, a feeling of well-being among the viewers. On the other hand, and if you notice that this negative vision affects the rest of your life, it is advisable to stop this “hate-watching”.
What to remember: :
- Watching series that we hate is not an isolated phenomenon
- Science has looked into this concept which can bring well-being to some spectators
- You must, however, be careful not to become a cynical person in all aspects of your life