A New Way to Watch TV

This photograph shows us that the way we watch television has changed drastically over time. CC photo courtesy of Paul Townsend on Flickr. This image has not been modified from its original.

This photograph shows us that the way we watch television has changed drastically over time. CC photo courtesy of Paul Townsend on Flickr. This image has not been modified from its original.

Social media and technology are changing the way we watch television. Instead of watching with whoever is in the room with us, we are using smartphones and tablets to engage in social media conversation about television events with people around the world.

Having a second-screen adds another dimension to our television-watching experience. I checked Twitter during and after Sunday’s Creighton-Villanova basketball game and saw score updates, fan tweets and post-game press conferences. It was fun to read what fans were saying about the Bluejays because I do not get that from watching the game on television.

Aside from reading and posting tweets about what I am watching, I use a second-screen to decide what shows to tune in to. After noticing a lot of tweets about Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance, for example, I tuned in to see what the buzz was about. This allows me to make the most of my television-viewing experience.

This second-screen phenomenon has some obvious drawbacks, including spoiling an episode for someone who has not yet watched it. My advice to anyone who is recording a show is this: Stay off social media.  There is nothing more frustrating than discovering who the bachelor sent home before you had a chance to watch it – trust me. However, once a television show has aired, people undoubtedly are going to talk about what happened.

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DiGiorno Pizza tweets about trending topics.

Social media professionals should use this second-screen phenomenon like the rest of us – to identify and engage in meaningful conversation with people around the world. Businesses can expand their customer-base if they contribute to trending topics (see DiGiorno Pizza example on the left).

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