Everyone has at least one go-to film, book, or TV show that they can turn to whenever they’re in need of a familiar comfort watch. Our compulsion to re-watch old favorites is something that confuses psychologists and sociologists to this day. Read on to learn some interesting theories and all-too-relatable facts about the phenomenon…
1. An Emotional Experience
It’s hard to identify exactly what makes repeatedly consuming your favorite stories so appealing. In many cases, it can bring a sense of comfort, familiarity, or nostalgia to help distract from the stressful or mundane aspects of daily life. After all, nothing is more easy on the mind than fondly reminiscing about a better time.
2. Creature Of Habit
Some scientists theorize that it is not emotion or even any conscious impulse which compels us to watch or read the same thing over and over. Instead, they propose a much more subliminal notion; we simply develop a habit of ingesting the same stories when familiar circumstances arise without even realizing it.
3. Our Strange Addiction
While it may externally manifest in similar ways, habitual behavior and addictive behavior are not the same. Some have suggested that our tendency to revisit our favorite stories is actually a form of addiction in itself. This is due to the extreme emotional reliance we can sometimes place on certain media (see: people in internet fandoms).
4. Rerun Rituals
Of the many reasons humans tend to repeat activities, there are habits, there are full-blown addictions, and in between there are rituals. Unlike habits or addictions, rituals are consciously-upheld patterns that reflect the deliberate nature of our rerun-bingeing tendencies. However, they don’t tend to be very frequent or compulsion-oriented.