Harry Potter and the Spell of Addiction


As the last Harry Potter book churned out last year it took away the magic from the lives of many Potter fans. Our beloved Mr. Potter is in the whirlpool of controversy after a group of researchers from Pennsylvania, ended up scrutinising 4000 Potter fans online and stumbled upon the fact that 400 of them were suffering from serious symptoms of depression, loss of appetite and sleeplessness while 20% of them were on the verge of addiction. To read the full article, please follow this link. The tests were spread out such that the children were studied before the last book was released, at the time of its release and after the children finished reading the book. What really took the cake was that addiction to Harry Potter series was compared to addiction to drugs, pornography and even the craving for cigarettes!!!

As per the report :

”After finishing the series, ten per cent of fans spent over four hours a day on Potter-related activities, experiencing interference with appetite and sleep, engaging in less physical activity, having a lower sense of well-being and being more irritable.”

As the series came to an end last year, many Potter fans are finding life very hard. There were participants who gave statements like – “I want Rowling to know that I hate her, as I have nothing to live for now.” Interestingly, those fans who turned their obsessions into creative outlets either through a fan rock band or a fan fiction ended up quite well and didn’t had the bouts of depressions after the last book got over. 

But, is it truly justifiable to use such a strong word such as Addiction in this context? And why only Harry Potter, wasn’t the Lord of the Rings series equally “addictive”? And then why only point fingers at books, aren’t movies equally addictive? As far as I can remember, I myself saw LORT around 30 times. 🙂

What is hard to understand is that how relevant can such a research be? When the report says that Harry Potter series have done a record sale of 400,000,000 copies then how relevant is the figure of the “addictive” children? Is this study a peek in the negative impact which the series had generated amongst the younger generation as it comes to a logical end or is it a classic case of making a mountain out of a molehill? And there have been no explanation of what “Potter-related activities” mean.

Personally speaking, I have not yet read a single Potter book as I am a huge fan of the movies and I don’t want to read the books and end up hating the movies because I know for a fact that they are much better than the movies. I wonder what will happen after the Movie series end. 😦

I am already feeling addicted.

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