Home Leisure & Lifestyle Brits Spend 182.5 Hours per Year Searching for Something to Watch, Study Finds

Brits Spend 182.5 Hours per Year Searching for Something to Watch, Study Finds

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Being stuck between multiple streaming services and debating what to watch can be time-consuming.

A recent study by Currys uncovered how much time people spend choosing a programme or movie to watch and asked 2,018 Brits to understand their challenges and difficulties in selecting what to watch. Out of those asked, 10% admitted they spend up to two hours trying to find something to watch, with the average time spent, across all respondents, on this decision dilemma being 30 minutes a day.

For those who find themselves watching TV daily, this 30 minutes per day translates to a staggering 182.5 hours per year dedicated to the daunting task of deciding what to watch – equivalent to just over seven days annually lost to “choice paralysis”.

The survey also revealed that nearly 60% admit that after endless scrolling, they give up on finding something to watch altogether.

Endless scrolling for the perfect show can lead to overwhelming anxiety, making the search for something enjoyable more stressful than fun.

Dr George Fieldman, a consultant psychologist, offers insights into the reasons behind people’s anxiety when it comes to deciding what to watch on TV, he said:

“Fear and danger are poorly correlated which means that people fear making the wrong choice. Even when it comes to picking something to watch on TV still comes with a fair amount of factors to consider which can lead you to spiral into anxiety. What you watch is a significant investment of time and people don’t want to make the wrong choice. It has to be worthwhile to justify spending that time which could be spent elsewhere.

“Those that suffer from anxiety are more likely to experience choice paralysis. This usually happens because making the right choice is important for them and they overestimate the impact of making the wrong decision.”

How to conquer choice paralysis?

  • Identify underlying beliefs. Explore the beliefs that are fuelling your anxiety as often there are deeper concerns at play. This could be a fear of wasting time or missing out on something better. Identifying them can help you challenge and overcome them.
  • Reframe your mindset. Ask yourself whether the goal is to watch something good or to have a good time with the people you are with. The two don’t have to go hand in hand. Sometimes, it’s the experience and quality time spent.
  • Set realistic expectations. Not every movie or TV show is going to knock your socks off and be the perfect fit for what you’re looking for. Enjoy the process of picking something and watching it rather than fixating on the outcome.
  • Limit decision-making time. If you overthink choices, try setting a time limit when making decisions. This can help prevent analysis paralysis and encourage you to trust your instincts more.

Brits only give shows 34 minutes to impress them

The study also revealed that UK viewers take a surprisingly short time to figure out if they want to continue watching a show or not, with the average decision time being 34 minutes to assess whether the unfolding plot or character dynamics align with expectations and preferences.

When it comes to movies, Brits take even less time to decide as the average time is just 30 minutes before turning it off.

The storyline was found to be the most important factor for 47% of Brits when choosing a TV program. Delving deeper into their considerations, the cast and actors follow closely at 41% and genre at 40% (with drama voted as the UK’s go-to genre). Combining this with the influence of reviews standing at 31%, it highlights a varied approach to viewers’ decision-making process.

Top pet peeves for Brits when trying to watch something 

Considering the hassle of trying to decide what to watch, the last thing Brits want is to be disturbed while viewing. The survey found that the top bug bear of Brits while watching a film or TV is someone talking, this being a top annoying habit for 45% of respondents.

Next is spoiling key moments for 32%, in joint third, people checking their phones (30%) and constantly asking about the plot (30%) and lastly falling asleep during the show or movie, which is a pet peeve for 27%.

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd