Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TV Vampires & a Little Blue Bird

“You hear that swoosh, that was what you just said going right over my head,” a friend of mine laments after I give him a brief summary of twitter and some simple reasons for him to join.  I’m still laughing a little about how our conversation ended though, this was all done via an instant messaging program, after I explained what a hashtag was, “#imallconfusedandshit”

I can sympathize with his plight here.  He is about 8 years older than me so I can understand him not wanting to adjust to the change or even having a hard time if he wanted to.  I was driving a couple of guys I play basketball with downtown yesterday to play at NIFS (facility on campus of IUPUI in Indianapolis).  Side note, it was amazing to play on the old Market Square Arena floor (old NBA Indiana Pacers floor), man are those NBA floors long.  I realize my age when I am surrounded by younger guys, in basketball and in other areas.  Specifically I find myself saying, “Oh yea, I have that CD,” when having conversations about new music.  Truth told I don’t have any CDs, but because that’s my era I think music, I think CD, which causes them to laugh at me.  Adjusting to change, especially as you grow up and mature is difficult, but necessary at some point, if you desire to stay relevant.  Some are ok with fading into irrelevancy, like my grandma (Nana) who doesn’t even know how to turn on a computer, much less use one.  If you’re not looking to be like Nana, then you may want to at least understand the logic of twitter because I believe it will and is changing marketing/advertising all together, which will eventually take over television.

I’m sure I’m not smart enough to be the first person to think of this idea, but in an effort to not extinguish my cognitive juices here I didn’t bother to even look.  The big idea is how the general feel of twitter will be what television looks like soon, in my opinion at least.  I had huge gripes about twitter and rigid views about not joining.  I never wanted to be able to say I was tweeting.  I suppose my standoff with this social media giant had more to do with what I didn’t like more than what I understood, which I suppose is true of most people my age and older.  I don’t care what celebrities are doing or how standing in line at Wal-Mart is annoying to you.  I don’t care that you are eating at McDonalds or that you are wearing a retro pair of Jordan’s.  I don’t care for that kind of tweeting because it seems to add no value to me, which, let’s be honest, we are all looking for things that are of value or add value to ourselves.  That’s human nature and everyone is about themselves (not saying selfishness), so unless you’re a robot or vampire, the truth remains, we are all looking for things relevant to us.

Since we want to see only things relevant to us in times past we simply muted the TV during commercials, walked away, or turned the channel, in spite of the “don’t change that channel!” charge.  With Twitter users are given the capability to control what content is coming their way. I don’t have to read any famous socialite heiress rant about her latest meaningless (to me) ventures or be concerned with what Tommy from Boston likes on his gyro.  I try to tell people my age that Twitter really has been a great tool to filter the information I read, and brag about not ever having to go out and get the news because it comes to me.  I like Twitter now, even in spite of my wife’s slight poking fun at me, it’s been a useful tool for me.  I’ve been able to meet quite a bit of great folks that are relevant to me on many levels.  Again, the logic is pretty simple and understanding that logic has been helpful venturing into the Twitter world.  The logic is that users dictate what content they see.  This same logic can and will or should apply directly to television.

My wife and I record all shows we watch.  We never watch live television.  We don’t want to deal with the commercials so it is easier and more fun to just record and fast forward.  If we don’t record it or are into shows the other may not be into we watch Hulu which limits the interruptions with very short commercials.  I think a merger of the internet, television, and Twitter could change the way anyone experiences shows all together.  If every user had to create an account to watch this said new-fangled television then the commercials could be only applicable to those interests selected with each users’ profile/account.  I’d never have to watch a woman in all white run down a beach to promote a tampon again, of course because my profile would say I am a male and like sports.  Maybe it’d be different if I was watching a show with my wife and it somehow would fuse our profiles together to make a mutually relevant commercial selection, but generally speaking commercials would only be relevant to the user watching.  All in all that is my 2 cents on all this social media and a possible direction of change for a familiar form of entertainment.  Maybe one day you’ll be like me and instead of bragging about your newest CD you bought (which is actually a mp3/4 album downloaded) you’ll talk about changing channels to which your children will scowl and laugh at.  Cheers to progress, at least I hope so, because it’s always nice to say, “I told you so.”

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