TiVo Guilt?

Come on. 'Fess up. How much stuff do you have backlogged on your TiVo? Me? I've got 27 shows in a folder called "Everest," 34 episodes of House, and a stack of movies that I record whenever HBO or Showtime has a free preview weekend. When it looked like my TiVo might be dying, I went into a panic when I realized how many movies I had stored, unwatched, for years. Sure, I meant to get around to Hotel Rwanda, was waiting for just the right time for The Aviator, and the rainy day that would be perfect for March of the Penguins. Seems like I'm not alone.

CNN is reporting that more and more people are experiencing something called "TiVo guilt," where TiVo owners feel overwhelmed and guilty about the about of content stored, unwatched on their DVRs.

See what industry experts say about this "condition" . . .

"You want to watch TV, and what do you have? You turn on your DVR and you have a homework assignment," says Brad Berens, chief content officer for iMedia Communications, who analyzes how media advances change people's behavior.

"Economists call this 'opportunity costs,' " explains Berens. "You're sitting there and you have to weigh, well, 'I have to watch this thing, because I promised myself when I told TiVo ... I want the whole season of that! Go get it! And go get things like it!' And so you've committed to this decision and it's a burden -- suddenly your relaxation has turned into more work."

When I thought my TiVo was toast, it did feel like a job, a high-pressure one at that, to watch everything on it before it bit the dust. Thank god it's behaving again. I still have about nine unwatched movies. Like I need more guilt . . . —Leslie Shapiro