Study Shows That TV Viewers Prefer Not to Multita—Ooh, Twitter
by Rebecca Pahle | 2:02 pm, January 23rd, 2014
Turns out that the “Technology is ruining our attention spans! People never talk face-to-face anymore! Waxing nostalgic about the pre-Internet era makes me feel superior to others! Grrrrrrr” apocalypse isn’t quite upon us: A study has found that an overwhelming majority of TV viewers still prefer to actually focus on what they’re watching instead of doing other things.
Sorry, second screen apps. You are doing your best.
The study, conducted by TiVo, found that 76% of those surveyed prefer it when “their primary focus is actually watching what’s on TV,” though said viewers (there’s no percentage, but I’m going to guess 100) say they have multitasked at one point or another. Of course. Sometimes popcorn needs poppin’. 73% say there are certain shows that they make sure not to Tweet or do anything else during, lest they miss “complex plot twists or dialogue.” It’s called the Game of Thrones Factor, though I’d rename it the Teen Wolf Effect. Don’t want to miss a second of those Dubstep Werewolf Battles. And if you blink you might mess that another non-white dude character got killed. Hey-oh!
Of those who do regularly multitask, their attention is taken up by (in descending order) surfing the web, cooking, and chatting online. I wonder where knitting falls on that list. That’s my activity of choice for shows that bug the crap out of me but that I just can’t stop watching. If I give certain characters (*cough*SnowWhitePrinceCharming*cough*) any more than 30% of my attention I put myself at risk of popping a vein.
The survey also took a look at our TV discussion habits, namely that 55% percent of viewers agreed with the statement “I only want to discuss TV with people I know, not with Internet strangers.” *glances askance at our recap category*
That three-quarters of people prefer not to update Twitter, check Tumblr, or Gchat while watching their shows seems high to me, though that just may be a product of my life, and the lives of most of the people I know, being quite Internet-centric. Personally, I’m in that 76%. How ’bout you? Or, to make it more interesting, let’s switch it to movies: What is the appropriate punishment for people who text/update Facebook/do not turn off their damn phones at a movie theater? Being suspended head-first into a barrel full of angry wasps?