Monday, January 14, 2013

Shouting at The Shouting Box

With it's bright lights, colors and amazing sounds, television and the internet
DEMAND a response from us all. It's just NOT the one we think. 

Ever catch yourself talking back to the television? Or screaming at your laptop while watching HULU or NetFlix? It's okay to admit it, dear reader, we all do it. I don't mean slinging a few profanities at the icy black box over a bad call during the game (c'mon, I'm not crazy, those lousy refs need to hear what I've got to say!).

No, I mean discussing a TV show, movie or even podcast development during a show WITH the television. The box shouts at us–so of course, we need to have an appropriate response. We need to let this smooth plastic container of wires and switches know what we think and what we feel, you know, to show 'em whose boss! 

So for your consideration, I have identified the five most common faces of a TV Responder:
  1. The Skeptic – It's 2 a.m. and every acne cream, revolutionary kitchen aid, male enhancement pill and life-changing cleaning product is making it's pitch to you. Better belittle them and put them in their place with retorts like "pfft! no way...", "that's stupid!" or "yeah right". Show 'em who's in charge right before you dial in your credit card number to purchase that Snuggie. Now you're comfy AND you let them know how you feel. You sure showed them!
  2. The Infomercial Critic – Remember the days when infomercials were targeted only to poor decision making insomniacs. Now these things are on before the game, in between movies and are even aired in prime time slots. These advertisers and products must be kept in check by your endless input and validation. You MUST let these 10-in-1 cooking systems know your every thought. Even though they don't respond, they are hanging on every word you mutter.  
  3. The Movie Trailer WatchologistMovie trailers are like any other form of mass communication; they are built to appeal to as wide an audience as possible and get you to say the magic words "Oh, I want to see that!" Some trailers don't grab us and that's when we feel compelled to share our advanced critique of the film; "That looks dumb–I wouldn't waste my money on that stupid movie!" This is going to shock a lot of you... no one cares. Your impromptu opinion on a movie no one asked you for an opinion on is about as useful as shoes with no laces. (And if you're thinking, "Oh, well what about flip-flops?" then you're an ass, who's chosen to miss the bigger point. Congrats!)
  4. The OpinionatorA Watchologist can quickly morph into an Opionionator, this person is a sudden expert on things they have no connectivity with (the shorthand is an adult with no kids commenting on the value of a children's movie). As an Opinionator, you have an unfounded (and unwelcome) opinion over all you survey. Which often, sadly, is quite a bit.  Favorite catch phrase; "That's dumb..."
  5. The Realist – "Reality TV" is here to stay. Whether you want to watch amateur singers  win big during 'fair' judging by washed up or wanna-be celebrities who try and blaze come-backs or watch "real" housewives play 'clash of the personalities', the only thing the "actors" on these shows have in common with you is that you both are obsessed with their favorite topic—themselves. 
No matter which type of mass-media responder you are, it's important to remember that television transmissions and streaming videos from the Internet need to hear what you have to say. How else would they know what to show you? 

I mean, of course your critically important opinion matters–otherwise, shouting at or talking to an inanimate, non-living, non-responding device would just be kind of... crazy.

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