“We are what we watch”! is indeed a common dialogue used by many these days. Many people tend to believe that what we tend to watch the shows, movies which are similar to our tastes, ways of working, dealing with others, etc. But is there any science behind these speculations? Psychologists from all over the world put consensus on the fact that “Yes”! the movies, show one watches indeed have a capacity to influence or change someone’s behavior and influence the development of one’s entire personality.
These behavioral changes may be related to the way of dressing, social interactions, work dealings, types of music one listens to, the type of food that one prefers, traveling choices, etc. the influences can be endless. The alternate opinion can also be true. It may be possible that an individual is attracted to a particular TV show or movie because his interest relates to the same genre.
Thus, it can be safely said that viewing a particular show and one’s personality structure and underlying behavior pattern are reciprocally related. Whatever the reason for viewing a particular show by the public may be, but it can be confidently said that TV series have a significant effect on the behavioral pattern of the population that watches it.
Current trends in viewership
With the ongoing current coronavirus pandemic which broke out all over the world from the year 2020 and still now continuing the global viewership for movies and TV series increased drastically. This may be attributed to the fact that people all over the world felt stuck at home owing to rigorous lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus. People were unable to go out and have fun or meet friends. People felt extremely bored being stuck at home and that too going through extreme tension and anxiety of catching the virus and also felt depressed because of detachment from loved ones and friends. The only solace from this situation was provided by the TV series and online movies which were the only easy entertainment option the individuals could avail from the safety of their own. Naturally, it led to a subsequent increase in the viewership of TV series all over the globe.
Observable impact of increased TV series viewership
- Imitation to the personality of TV series characters that one is viewing regularly
- Fashion choices in congruence with the TV series characters portrayal of fashion
- Eating habits according to what is seen in the TV series
- Change in ways of relating with people socially
- Preference on food habits as seen in the TV series
- Developing an interest or increased interest in visiting tourist destinations that are being shown in the TV series
Examples of the influence of TV series on the behavioral pattern of the population as witnessed in the recent past
- A famous Netflix series Queen’s Gambit featuring Ana Taylor- joy is based on the protagonist’s quest to win World Chess Championship. This series decreased the taboo of chess as being perceived by the population as an extremely complex sport requiring high intellectual abilities and increased the audience’s interest in chess placing it in a glamorous light.
- Another successful series is Emily in Paris which was extremely successful in snatching viewer interest in a very short period. The plot of the series revolved around the story of protagonist Emily featuring Lily Collins. The plot is based on the concept of Emily’s life in Paris doing his dream job as a young marketing executive. This show led to increased tourism in Paris. It also influenced the current fashion trends in the industry and the public showed a keen interest in buying fashion items as shown in the series.
- A similar craze was seen during the streaming of the Netflix series Crown which was based on the history of the Royal Family of the United Kingdom. Kate Middleton and Princess Diana were indeed pop symbols and a favorite of the public from the beginning but this series increased the interest of the public in the entire royal family as well influencing dressing, tourism, etc. This show changed the perception of the public about British Royals altogether.
Thus from all the discussions, it is evident that TV series have a huge power to influence public perception, behavioral patterns, consumer market, increase or decrease interest in particular things and even can influence the personality structure of an individual. It does not only influence an individual but it also has immense power to influence the entire society as a whole. Hence the makers of the TV series should be responsible enough to showcase their creativity through these TV series in a positive manner to have a positive influence on society as a whole. Utmost care should be taken not to promote anything negative through these series or not to project anyone in a bad light in front of the public because such act could have extremely negative consequences for the society as well as the maker can end up in legal trouble too.