“WATCHING” TV

It’s real no surprise that when folks tend to watch television, or to be precise, when folks watch a moving video image, be it through a so-called traditional television unit, a desktop/laptop, a smartphone, or through any other electronic device that sports a video screen, these same folks are doing some other task. This means these viewers are not staring into their video screen being totally mesmerized with whatever is appearing on their device.

It isn’t likely that people ever did nothing but gawking into a screen, or not in these days. Perhaps in the early days of television when TV was some much a novelty, people would watch test patters just because they can. Granted, it wasn’t known if folks actually did that waiting for something else to happen outside of seeing an image that resembled a dart board with a bust image of an Indian dressed in a full featured headpiece on the upper center of the test pattern. But this is all besides the point.

Statista, a database firm that keep account to trends and statistics for marketing purposes, recently conducted a poll asking those on what they do while they watch TV and its equivalent devices. According to the results found, slightly over three quarters of those responding (76%) tend to check on their email and/or text messages while viewing their video device. Using and replying to social media portals came in second place at 71%, followed by checking details on content being viewed (68%), playing video based games (55%), shopping online at 54%, and doing their banking came in at sixth place at 41%.

This is a far cry (well..maybe not so far, but comes pretty close) from the things that yours truly once did when I was a heavy(ier) TV watcher. Back in the day when I was a kid that wasn’t that long ago since TV signals at the time was being transmitted in color (when available) although the sound was mono, I would be doing something else!Perhaps the two things I would be doing was school based homework…or at least trying to do homework since I was usually distracted in whatever was going on the screen, or eating breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks. (Take your pick!) If I wasn’t eating and/or attempting to start or even finish my assessments that was due the next school day, I was involved with something else. I would be on the phone on occasion, but only to actually talk to somebody on the other end. The yakking on the phone with one of my school chums would be today’s social media, as well as getting details on what I was watching. If I was playing games, those games would be limited to getting into a game of solitaire (with a deck of fifty-one no doubt), or maybe working on a crossword puzzle that was created for my sense of knowledge that I had, but that wasn’t often, After all, many of the crossword puzzles that appeared in the local newspaper wasn’t as “kid friendly” as they could have been.

But I knew even then I wasn’t the only one that did something while spending (wasting?) time in front of the idiot box when I could have been doing something else. Back in those days, TV signals were only obtained through an areal that was on the roof of my the house (best for catching those pesky UHF channels), or through a rod antenna that was attached to my black and white Sony portable whose screen size was a whopping twelve inches in diameter! Since it was a B/W set, screen size didn’t matter. But since the set only had a rod antenna, those UHF channels came in “kinda” snowy. So every afternoon when I would come home after a hard day’s time in school, I would pop in a frozen TV dinner (Mortons frozen dinners selling for 59 cents each at the local A&P) in the over for 35 minutes at 300 degrees, while attempting to watch an afternoon’s worth of reruns of 1960’s-era idiot sitcoms that local channels 9 and 32 would program! (The Munsters, F-Troop, My Favorite Martian, etc.) I would then be chowing down on my lunch of a dinner that consisted of “Salisbury steak” that resembled a flat four inch long slab of turd that was soaking in a puddle of watery (and greasy) “gravy”, with a side of kernels of corn that looked and tasted like soggy yellowish ball bearings, along with a slice of apple-esque cobbler that wasn’t as bad as one could get. As for homework? I would be working on it that later in the evening, all depending on what shows were going to be on prime time. If it was, let’s say, a variety show such as The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour or The Flip Wilson Show, I would be more engaged with the antics of Sonny attempting to be the cocky leading man with Cher’s upstaging to Sonny with a great put-down gag, or Flip playing Geraldine Jones in a skit featuring one of his “special guest stars”, then the homework would wait until the morning before it was due on the teacher’s desk!

But what this all leads to is the fact that other people are doing a whole load of other stuff while the TV device was blasting away. So those programmers and TV show creator should know that if you want to have people watch their program(s), make sure that it’s accessible to any and all social media platforms that’s out there. One of Quibi’s fallen mistakes that when it was up and running, it didn’t allow anyone to send a link to their content through Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else! After all, how is anyone going to know about some kind of video content if you don’t tell all of your virtual friends that it’s worth a glance? That is, unless those friends are doing something else!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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