Being a marketer I have made every effort to embrace social media. I love that it brings people together and empowers us all to speak out and engage. From igniting social and political movements to reshaping brands and their image, social media can do it all – including ruin television.
Let me explain. I understand that it’s all about integration, interaction and options these days. We are multitasking more and focusing less, blending everything and separating nothing. But social media has taken over my television and I want it back. It started with programs scrolling tweets at the bottom of the screen. Now there are some shows, and quality ones at that, where there is just too much time and screen dedicated to social. In giving their audience 360 degree access and engagement, these programs have become blurry messes. To make it worse, so much of the integration seems forced and contrived.
I caught a bit of The Voice this week, which by all accounts is a very successful and entertaining show. I was more than impressed by the singing and truly enjoyed the judges’ banter. Then I was taken to “The V Room” – an odd social media bunker of sorts where the artists, instead of singing, were all on smart phones and where a third of my screen was dedicated to audience tweets. Rather than read what Mary in Des Moines thought of the last act, I decided to change the channel.
Given that this scenario is becoming more commonplace, here’s my quick two cents… you don’t have to link everything all the time. I have no issue with water cooler talk on social networks. The occasional audience question coming from Twitter, no problem. But please Mr. or Mrs. Whoever Makes These Decisions, just because you can bring social into every aspect of your programs doesn’t mean you have to. A little constraint would be very much appreciated.