I hadn’t realised just how used we all are to sharing our thoughts about certain TV programmes and documentaries with absolute strangers until we started to talk about it in the office recently.
I’ve never really considered how my consumption of media has changed as a result of social media, but after taking a step back I realise that actually, in some instances, I expect as much from my Twitter feed as a I do the programme that I’m watching.
Take the Last Leg for example. As well as being one of my all time favourite programmes it is a show that openly champions the use of social media to engage with a captive audience and share ‘real time’ opinions that then instigate further debate.
Using #Isitok the presenters integrate the use of Twitter into the show in order to collate responses from viewers. A series of questions will be asked and the hashtag means that people are able to respond and also engage with each other.
Some people aren’t so sure about the need to integrate social into programming and I can understand that view, after all if you’re watching a programme shouldn’t you be giving it your full attention or just sitting back to relax and enjoy?
I think there’s an element of both. I watch certain programmes without even considering social media, but then there are others that have me almost habitually grabbing for my iPhone.
In most instances it seems to be documentaries and programmes that have a human interest or some element of social psychology behind them that I find most interesting. I like to see what other people think and agree or contradict based on my own feelings.
Gogglebox is another great show when it comes to Twitter. There are always insightful comments, which are often about very serious situations, which despite being ‘out of date’ create engagement and debate online.
For me, social media and TV are perfect bedfellows and as someone who doesn’t spend a great deal of time in front of the box, when I do it’s great to know that there is a wider audience who are willing to compare and contrast views about the programme we are all watching.
So, #Isitok? Yes, I think it is. In fact, I’d be lost without it and if you don’t want to engage with people online while watching TV, the answer is simple – turn your phone off.