Social media’s impact on TV viewing pattern
If there is anything that could be considered as “newly added” to Ramadan traditions in the Arab world, then it is the boom in TV productions. Any idea, from anyone, in any subject, can find its way to become a series for the 30 days of Ramadan. You just need to know someone who knows someone at the production houses.
This Ramadan drama is finding its way to social media as well. With each and every episode Twitter hashtags and Facebook discussions fire up. Sometimes, you do not even need to be watching a certain program or series, keep following the feeds talking about it and you would not miss a heartbeat.
It is both interesting and a worrying phenomenon. Interesting because it is somehow turned the whole TV experience into a theater-like experience; you immediately get the audience feedback about your performance.
You do not need to wait for critics to write about the show in magazines, you do not need e-mails writing to you about the topic of your latest show, it is all there, a second by second review and feedback. It is a huge step, and a good source of information and data to measure audience preferences and satisfaction levels, if used correctly of course! For producers, writers, directors, presenters and actors, this should be a paradigm shift in how they should strategize and plan their work.
It is worrying, though, because it is polarizing the audience and creating endless heated discussions and exchange of “verbal attacks.” You voice your opinion in favor of a certain program, those who loath it will be sneering at you promptly! It is the famous pheromone of “you like what I like, or I won’t like you!”
Unfortunately, such a behavior is not confined to the shows or programs, it is something in the way we look at and interact with things; we see no colors, it is either black or white! Sadly, such tendencies found TV programs as a good opportunity to feed, grow and spread.
On a side note, there is something else that could be trending in this month when it comes to TV. Most people are turning to the Internet to watch their favorite shows instead of watching it live. Yours truly is an example, I am hardly watching two programs throughout this month, and I have never seen any of them live so far. A quick survey among family and friends shows that I am not alone. This comes hand in hand with a recently published survey in the US that suggests that YouTube is now more popular than the live TV.
“Out of 2,000 people surveyed (US respondents over 18 who own a television, smartphone and personal computer), 68 percent of viewers said they consume video content from YouTube, 51 percent consume video from live television and 49 percent consume content from Netflix.” as published on Mashable.