Broadcasting connections

When Zoé Rose (’18) moved from Paris to London this school year, television became her coping mechanism. “I didn’t want to go outside, I had no friends here because school hadn’t started yet. I was just alone all the time, ” Rose said. Resorting to television, Rose said “[Television] definitely helped me because it gave me something to do. Something to become invested in, and it gave me something to talk about with people.”

Rose explained the comfort that Anime, a Japanese cartoon animation genre, has brought to her everyday life. “It’s made me closer to people I know in real life who I’d never talked to,” she said.

This genre not only led to friendships for her, but also becoming a member of the online community. “Liking Anime has gotten me friends that I wouldn’t otherwise have had,” said Rose. “I talk to people online, and I’ve made friends online and without Anime I would have never met them.”

Providing an escape from reality allows Rose to detach herself from her everyday worries. “Sometimes before testing weeks I get extremely stressed. I need something that’s very brain numbing to get my mind off of things,” she said. 

Rose feels involved in the programs she watches revealing that they can have an effect on her emotions. “I’ve cried. I’ve definitely cried,” Rose said.

Similarly, Luke Bandeen (’17) has become emotionally connected to television shows that he has been watching for years. “One of the beautiful parts is that [television shows] can make you feel a range of emotions depending on their purpose. A good television show can make you feel any emotion it wants to,” he said.

Bandeen  said that “Grey’s Anatomy” has been a part of his life since he was six and has become very familiar with the characters. “They’re so well developed in my mind that they’re kind of like real people to an extent,” he said. “For that reason I have to watch the show, it’s very hard for me not to,” he said. 

Becoming aware of the emotional attachment Rose has with Anime, she has stopped herself from continually watching. “I got to a certain point where I was so into it that I was like ‘wow, I need to take a step back and I need to read a book or spend time with my family’,” Rose said.

However, not all students have such a deep emotional connections to the programs they watch. Despite watching shows such as “One Tree Hill” which is set in a school environment, Charlotte Kronfeld (’19) feels able to relate to characters without becoming invested. Unlike Rose and Bandeen, she is able to keep more of an emotional distance from the programs she watches. “Even though it is very similar to my life, it’s a different world,” she said.

For Kronfeld, television is purely a form of stress relief. “It’s destressing from my everyday worries.” Television forms a part of her daily routine. “Typically during a school day I try to keep it in between one and two [hours] so I can focus on my work, but on the weekends I’ll probably watch around four.”