Washington: A new study has indicated that even temporary "break-ups" in one's favourite television programs can be distressing for some people.

But for those who think that less time spent with the media may be a good thing for some people, the results may be disappointing.

"Some people believe TV isolates people and takes them away from more social activities, but our results suggest that may not be the case," said Emily Moyer-Guse, assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University and co-author of the study.

 "Many viewers simply replaced their normal TV viewing with other media activities. They weren't using the opportunity to start exercising or spend more time with friends or family," he added.

The study involved 403 undergraduate college students who completed an online questionnaire in the spring of 2008 during the television writers' strike.

Results showed that that people who reported stronger "relationships" with their favorite characters also reported more distress when their programs temporarily went off the air for the strike.

"We found that people who primarily watched television for companionship were the ones who felt the most distressed by temporarily losing their programs," added Moyer-Guse.

The study has been published in the journal Mass Communication and Society.

(Courtesy: Mid-day.com)