To get a better idea of if how television audiences use social media during and after watching television shows hinders or enhances the watching experience as a whole. I posed a short survey online which was open for 2 weeks and it received 20 responses.
The first question I asked was the basic “Are you currently on any social media?” question to get a general feel of how many people were on different kinds of social media, more than one response was allowed. As imagined almost all respondents but surprisingly not all of them (92.86%) selected Facebook. The second most common medium of social media with 9 responses (64.29%) was Reddit and third was Twitter (50%). Instagram and Tumblr as well as an ‘other’ option were available and although some responses were for Instagram and Tumblr they were significantly less than the media mediums mentioned earlier. Also no one had any ‘other’ social media responses leading me to believe that these five social media platforms are the most common used by audiences presently. The three most popular responses evidently are all media platforms where it is quite easy for audience participation and all, especially Twitter, are used frequently in the kind of audience participation while watching television I was looking for.
I also discovered the age group that is most likely to participate online while in television watching situations is those in the age range of 19 – 22 years old, closely followed by those 23 – 26 years old. This is more than likely due to the fact that individuals who fall into these age ranges are of the ‘technology generation’ who have grown up with the ever changing technologies we have access to today and although they may have had their fair share of pink flip phones and dial-up internet, they all know how to use an IPhone without asking for help.
Of these 20 people I then asked if they were a part of those who participate or use social media while watching television. Choices includes yes, no or sometimes for those who sometimes have something to say but also might not be as avid as some. Majority chose sometimes as their response with 4 responses each being ‘yes’ or ‘no’
To get a better idea of the kinds of participation television audiences contributed to online the next question was a follow on from the last question and asked “if yes, in what ways do you contribute online” again choice of more than one answer was allowed. Four who answered no to the previous question did not have to answer. Out of the remaining 16 100% said they live-tweeted or blogged, 5 said the participated in discussion forums, 4 said fan theories and one said fan art. This again emphasised that live-tweeting and blogging is the most popular form of online audience participation
Finally, the question “do you think that this contribution online during or after watching television hinders and enhances the overall watching experience and why?”. Between the three available responses ‘hinders’, ‘enhances’ or ‘sometimes both’. ‘hinders and ‘sometimes both’ received 8 responses each while enhances received 4 responses. Participants of the survey responses to the why factor of this question helped shared further light on way the felt about audience participation. Responses varied from “It’s a fun way to get involved and meet people who are big fans of the show like you” to “spoilers” to “it lets you give your opinion and also the opinions of others but this can be good or bad”. And as you can see opinions varied on whether overall audience participation during or after watching television hinders or enhances the watching experience and it was hard to make an overall conclusion to my original question.
Stay tuned, final post coming soon! 🙂