Why doesn’t anybody actually watch anything any more?
I mean, once upon a time one sat at the cinema or theatre and allowed the director of the movie or play, the actors, and all those involved to draw the audience in and to become completely immersed in and in ore of the presentation they are experiencing.
Not any more.
A concert is designed to be actually watched, listened to and fully enjoyed. Recent Take That concerts had fantastic props and sets in order to make the experience etch itself into the minds of those they were performing to. Was anybody actually watching and experiencing it?
Not any more.
Shows on the TV are produced to the same exacting standards, and now with huge high definition screens and surround sound everything is done to try to absorb the viewer and take them on a journey. Are they being taken on a journey?
Not any more.
Instead, throughout all the multi-sensory experiences I’ve mentioned, the majority of the audience are far too busy with their mobile phones.
Most TV programmes are broadcast with the viewers missing most of the subtleties completely because they no longer know how to actually watch. They will watch tiny bits and then look down, away from the 56 inch high definition plasma, and onto their 2 or 3 inch screen in order to write about what they are watching and add a running ‘live’ commentary to Twitter, Facebook or Blackberry Messaging. Then they’ll read the replies. Meanwhile the programme will continue on the TV with them missing large sections of it.
Ok, this probably doesn’t matter so much with news reporting or one-to-one interviews and discussions. It probably doesn’t really matter with soaps, although these ‘not-viewers’ obviously miss those tell-tale soap looks that actors give to let us know they are lying or worried, even though the person they are talking to doesn’t yet know.
But it sure as hell matters when the storyline of a non-soap drama or film is complex, emotional, or using sudden special effects and suspense to take the viewer on a journey of experiences. All of it gets missed by the viewer looking down at their tiny screen and distractedly clicking away at their keyboard. Why do they do that?
They’ll do it in cinemas too, and engage in conversations about other trivia disconnected from the experience they are missing.
Then, when they go to a concert, rather than immerse themselves in the huge multi-dimensional experience around them, they hold up their phones and concentrate on looking at the tiny screen as they make a very bad recording of the show. In other words they actually miss the show they’ve gone to in order to badly record the bits they’re missing.
What the fuck is that all about?
What’s happened? Why can’t anybody concentrate on anything any more? Even whilst they are in a group ‘socialising’ in person they’ll be drifting away from any real conversation or companionship by all being on their mobiles texting or talking to people who aren’t there. One assumes that this can only mean they don’t actually want to be with the people they are with. So why bother? They could have stayed at home and texted to them too!
Why is all that potentially wonderful experience being missed and ignored in order to just look at the tiny screen of the mobile phone they are addicted to with the fever of a crack-head trying to deal with their next fix?
That’s really not a good thing is it?