TV Shows Pushing Online Social Interactions

The more I watch TV the more I realize that I live in a country that has about 15 seconds when it comes to an attention span. I can say mine is about 20 seconds. Breaking Bad is one of my favorite shows and it totally consumes me. It is one of those shows that you watch and do not want to take your eyes off the TV. Even though this is the case AMC promotes a second screen option on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. At the beginning of every Breaking Bad show viewers will see the Breaking Bad story sync option. I have not accessed the website during the show but they are promoting it as a second screen. With Breaking Bad having a very large presence on Twitter and other social media outlets it stands to reason that this second screen allows diehard fans to comment while the show is going on. Even during commercials I have no desire to check my smartphone simply because this is a show that takes time to sink in. As Breaking Bad comes to a close it will be interesting to see the second screen stats for this show.

Breaking Bad and Family FeudPicture of a TV

These are two of my favorite shows and they could not be any more different than they are. Family Feud attempts to be politically correct while Breaking Bad is full of drug dealers and illegal money laundering activities. That said, these two shows are very similar in one way - the second screen. At the end of every single Family Feud show Steve Harvey tells fans to go on Facebook to play Family Feud with friends. There are also times during the show when you will see the blue Twitter bird. Family Feud is a great show for the second screen as it is funny and in the moment. My personal opinion is that game shows are much better for social media than shows like Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad consumes its audience. Many of my friends watch the show and they refuse to answer their phone when the show is on. There is only one other show that did this to me as an adult - Lost.

If you tried to talk to me during Lost you could absolutely forget it. I was so entrenched in Lost I could tell you the color of the car Jack was driving when he met Kate in the flash forward. I do remember going on the ABC message boards after the show to get more information on the predictions about the show. Many diehard fans had screenshots and stills of the show that helped to predict future shows. One show that I will never forget was the first appearance of the "Smoke Monster". After the show was over I can remember about 20 message board threads with zoomed in pictures to show what was exactly in the smoke. Yes, I was a little bit diehard when it came to that show.

Even though I loved Lost more than any other show, there was no way I was going to talk about it while the show was live. I sure as heck was not going to be on my smartphone or laptop. I would miss something very important if I was. In a day and age when we are on our smartphones and tablets every second of the day it is nice to finally turn it off and get into something on TV. I also enjoy getting into a book without having an electronic device around. Sadly, this does not happen very often. Even when I go to Barnes and Noble or the library I see people reading but they always have their iPhone or iPad in their lap. Heck, some of them are reading on the iPhone or iPad. I often wonder when it will get to the point that people are reading and doing something else at the same time. We have all joked that we can do this but there have been scientific studies to show that doing two things at once means there will be little comprehension.

This is one of the biggest worries I have for the generation below me. College and high school students feel as if they can study, listen to music, check Facebook and Tweet all at the same time. While they can probably do this they are missing out on much of the material they think they are studying. There is no way that the human brain can consume all of this information at one time. With this being true, when do we finally see TV executives slowing down when it comes to social interactions. I can agree that TV shows and movies should push that they have a Facebook page or a Twitter but should they encourage users to actually use these social networks while consuming the movie or TV show? I would think not. Breaking Bad fans love to analyze the show and make predictions but the reason they can do this is because they notice every little thing about the show. They notice Walter White's shoes when he first gets in his car. They notice the cell phone that Saul gives Jesse. They notice the time of day that a phone call was being made. If diehard Breaking Bad fans were on their tablet or smartphone they might miss some of these little things.

I am a strong proponent of brands using social media to reach a broad audience. I do feel as if it can be overdone. There are certain brands that love to live Tweet or live update. There is nothing wrong with this if they can keep it to a minimum. If a brand is tweeting several hundred times within a 30 minute or one hour period there is a good chance they will lose fans or customers. This is something to consider before trying to push social media down the throats of all customers right now.




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