Monday, 23 February 2009

Making TV viewing more of a community experience

While I was watching a Mike Leigh film on tv on Saturday night (I know I should have been reading on a Saturday night of course), during one of the advert breaks they suggested that we all go online and write our views of the film so far.

I love this. What a neat idea. As it happened I was Home Alone and so this potentially offered me a way of viewing and sharing an opinion with others at the same time. In the past, critics of tv viewing habits sad that we all had 'square eyes' or would ruin our eyesight and all sorts of other things. They implied that watching tv was bad for you and 'rotted the brain'. Certainly they assumed it was less good than reading a book. I loved the way this suggestion to go online acknowledged that people have opinions they want to express; that they watched in an active way and that they were not just 'receiving messages' in a one dimensional way. I also loved that the telly was giving us opportunities for sharing our views through online networks.

So much for those who argue that the Internet fosters isolation.

Mind you - I did not do any review because I was multi-tasking - on my laptop surfing whilst also watching tv. I wonder how many other people do this habitually?


Jackie Marsh said...

Well thank goodness they haven't started yet the business of posting up people's comments made in emails in the middle of films, you know the sort of thing they have do on the news, "Rachel from Kentish Town says 'I think this film is really depressing, Vera is such a downtrodden character and did they have to wear such gloomy clothes in those days?"

Yvonne Downs said...

I'm just beginning to get why all these ways of communicating that the internet and digital technologies have made possible have taken off in such a big way. It's difficult to articulate but I think it's a lot to do with the creation or opening up of completely different spaces in which communication takes place. So you can be 'home alone' and yet connecting with a huge community 'out there'. You can be private and sociable at the same time. You can be quiet and yet be conducting lively conversations. Loneliness and isolation? They don't seem to belong in this space. But maybe aliention does? There also is a degree of freedom involved as to the level of your participation and when you eneter and exit communications. This feels liberating and empowering. Also there is something about the degree of safety inviolved in taking on a particular identity - so much less risky when there is little chance it will ever be subjected to actual scrutiny (although of course you can 'give yourself away' in other ways). This is not to suggest duplicity - we all present ourselves in certain ways at certain times. But it's much easier, I think, to maintain those identities in a virtual environment. I think.

Trapac said...


Thought I'd stop by and say 'Hi.'I just thought of you actually, wandered along to your flickr, then your profile, then back here.

Sounds a bit stalkerish doesn't it; but the beauty of this net malarkey, is that when the 'I wonder how x is getting on, haven't seen them around for a bit?' thought happens, you can (if you wish) do something about it.

So here I am, doing something about it :) I enjoy your blog, it feels like a sane, thoughtful and enjoyable space. Just thought I'd let you know that.