At one time it was only the TV critics that were given the role of churning out bad reviews of the latest TV shows the day after airing – but now, it’s us. We have the ability to ruin a TV show in minutes and in real time. So is social media really overpowering the way we view TV?
At this years MoSo Conference in Saskatoon, Terry McBride made a comment regarding how for hundreds and thousands of years “we’ve been told the Earth is round” – but now “it’s flat.” Not literally – Terry isn’t mental – but once upon a time what happened in the East took days to reach the West. Not anymore. What happens over there, happens over here instantaneously – in real-time.
Admittedly, Terry was referring to the music business, but the same principle applies for viewing TV.
Right now you and I have the ability to access any number of TV shows no matter where you live. Whether you do this legally or not is up to you – but with the advent of “on-demand” services such as Netflix and any number of local our national cable providers, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want.
Is it a safe bet to state that these services put more power in the hands of the consumer? Indeed – but this power means we’re able to influence the outcome and future of a TV show.
In times gone by we would persevere with a TV show because you wanted to give it a chance. I know I’m guilty of wasting my time with certain TV shows so see what might happen – but then regret the time I just wasted.
Now, as a whole we don’t have the patience to watch something that is utter garbage. And if it is garbage we take to social media to vent our grievances, meaning there’s no need to wait for the critic’s review the next day. And by the morning there’s enough traction to see that TV show pulled.
An example of such an event happened just recently in the UK. A much anticipated TV show by comedy writer Ben Elton (BlackAdder, The Young Ones, Mr. Bean) was cancelled. According to most of the general viewership it was poor, but more importantly it’s cancellation is being blamed (in part) to an overwhelmingly negative reaction on Twitter.
According to newly released figures, that somewhat are confirming are how much influence social media is having on the way TV is now judged, state that up to 62 per cent of TV viewers use social media whilst watching TV. This is now leading to a much sharper increase in the monitoring of online reactions – even Virgin Media have created a Hotlist, which is formula to assess social media engagement and reactions to TV shows.
I must admit I’m not one of these 62 per cent, but at times I feel like I should be. The amount of crap that I see just rattles me. And even if my intention is not to see a TV show pulled – after all it’s not in my interest to see people out of a job – I (WE!), shouldn’t have to pay for what is sub-standard rubbish. Agreed?
What’s your opinion – is our use of social media overpowering the way we watch TV? Leave your comments below.