Brian Solis’ post “Music, Film, TV: How social media changed the entertainment experience” couldn’t have appeared in my inbox at a better time. And to be frank, I didn’t even read it before I set out to write this post.

The mere title of his latest piece was just what I needed to self analyze:

Have I turned into one of “those” people who can’t give my full attention to anything anymore?

A little background

I’m not a huge TV watcher. In fact, I couldn’t tell you when my favorite programs are even on–I rely on my TiVo to take care of that for me. What I do know is lately I’ve been working long hours and spending what little time I have left with my family that, when it comes to my “down” time, I choose to veg out in front of a so-so TV show to disengage from it all (sad, I know…I could grab a book or take a nap, right?)

The difference is I can’t seem to just do that one thing. Now, when I’m watching TV, I have to make sure my phone is right next to me–to check email, to update social media, to respond to text messages.

Look out, TV, social media is the new form of entertainment

I remember when I couldn’t understand how people could multi-task while watching TV (and frankly, I couldn’t stand people who couldn’t set their phone down for a half hour and just concentrate on what they were watching).

I’m beginning to think I’ve turned in to the people I loathe.

This is not good.

In Brian’s post, he quotes a study from The Hollywood Reporter that states “88% of consumers consider visiting and posting on social networking sites a form of entertainment.”

So does that make our TVs the background noise?

I completely agree with this finding. I know that a huge part of the reason I grab my phone and check in on social media sites is because I like to be “in the know” and constantly entertained or part of something. The problem is, I don’t feel great about it when it’s all said and done.

If I set out to be entertained or decompress by watching a show, I should be able to do it without interruption–to get the whole effect of what I’m trying to be a part of. Without distractions.

Imagine what marketers and entertainment producers are struggling with (oh wait, I fall into that category much of the time).

My point (I do have one) is that as consumers–as human beings–we must be careful and check ourselves when we feel too much engagement which, really, means we’re only half-heartedly engaged.

Ultimately, we’re disengaged.

Maybe it’s sad that it took me this evening, after watching a few TV shows, to realize that I really didn’t immerse myself completely in what I was doing. I suppose for some, this is OK. For me, it’s a sign that I probably need to take some time off from social media and electronics in general; find a hiding spot away from all the noise.

Good thing the weekend is upon us. I think my kids will appreciate the device-free weekend I’m about to have.

And you? How do you know when too much engagement is working the opposite for you?

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