The Backup Screen

Aside from sports, I don’t watch that much television. For TV shows I’m a Netflix guy mainly because I dislike planning my day around the boob tube. However, it is always hard not to tune in when my Twitter feed is blown up with information about a show or event. That’s when the element of curiosity enters the room and proceeds to taunt me like Richard Sherman. And if I’m doing something important like studying or eating white cheddar popcorn, chances are I’m going to pause the task at-hand to get up and turn the TV on (our remote is broken). This development in social media usage is easy and effective for any televised occasion, especially when holiday-esque events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics roll around.

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That being said, I definitely participate in this second-screen trend. I usually find it worthwhile to check out the variety of reactions and comments that are tweeted by the accounts I follow. At the same time, I usually tweet once or twice during a game – maybe even three times if I’m feeling especially outspoken. My most recent second-screen Twitter activity was during the Creighton game earlier today. McDermott tied his season high of 39 points as the 18th ranked Bluejays thumped the 6th ranked Villanova Wildcats. Although I only tweeted once, I easily could’ve tweeted enough to lose a substantial amount of followers considering how exceptional we played in the biggest game of the season thus far. I also keep close tabs on the team’s Twitter account so I can see the game-day graphics and promotional material I put together.

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As great as this trend is, there is one major drawback that comes to mind. Unfortunately, it facilitates cyber conflict, especially among rival fans and players. Because social media is so dangerously accessible, infuriated viewers can post their unfiltered thoughts in a matter of seconds for all of humanity to see. Thus, athletes are frequently force-fed excessive amounts of explicit hate mail. Besides this, I think this phenomenon is a valuable promotional tactic that can be utilized by just about any show, event, or company to increase viewership.­

A link to the game-day graphic I threw together yesterday afternoon… http://instagram.com/p/kfQDStAsL0/

And more on this trend. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2013/10/10/the-second-screen-phenomenon-is-much-bigger-than-twitter-and-facebook/

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