Web Culture

Goodbye Couch Potato, Hello Second Screen Surfer [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mark O'Neill 13-10-2012

I immediately identified with today’s infographic, provided by Real.com, because it describes my wife and I to a tee. When we are both watching television, we are alternating between looking at the screen and looking at our phones. It’s comforting to know that this is a widespread practice, and not something anti-social, as someone once told me. I wasn’t listening though as I was checking my phone at the time.


In Ye Olden Dayes, before the “Age Of The internets“, we used to have this unique experience where we would sit and endure TV adverts. This was the time when people either got up for a bathroom break or went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. But it seems that these days, instead of answering the call of nature or switching on the kettle, the preferred way to pass an advert break is to get the phone out and start either emailing, tweeting, texting, or looking up programme information. Could this casual indifference to television product hawking ultimately spell the death knell for TV advertising?

Let us know in the comments what parts of the infographic you identify with. How do you pass TV advert breaks?  Do you use your smartphone for something, or are you old-school and watch the TV adverts closely for the latest deals in washing powder?

Goodbye Couch Potato, Hello Second Screen Surfer [INFOGRAPHIC] second screen video trends c2

Infographic Source: Real.com
Image Source: Teenagers Hanging Out Together via Shutterstock

Related topics: Infographic, Online Advertising, Television.

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  1. Rishabh Arora
    October 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Yea, besides this, I'm sure a huge percentage of the people who watch tv prefer to watch it in time-shift mode. They skip ads (as I do). And, who doesn't want to avoid watching that extra 15minutes, reserved just for stupid ads?

    Online video ads or TV ads, which one do you think are more effective??

  2. Adrian Rea
    October 14, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Yup I was watching the Korean Grand Prix while checking my MUO! In the UK we have the BBC which does not have adverts which is a double edged sword where you do not get interrupted whilst watching, but you also don't get a pee break :) We notice that many programmes are 45 mins long so they can take an hour when exported to other stations and we often get an additional 15 mins of behind the scenes on the prog at the end.
    One of the problems these days is that people get used to checking their phone or device whilst doing other things which makes them seem quite rude when they do it automatically when in social situations where diversion from the activity has not been commonplace before. Should we text at the cinema? Check websites during an interview? play computers at the sunday dinner table? These further take attention away from what is happening around us (like headphones) so when there is something that the individual really should be aware of and responding to, like conversation, a TV report they have been waiting for or a bit of Sunday roast about to spill on a keyboard.
    Society is changing!

  3. Imya Last
    October 14, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I use two devices when i watching TV

  4. Mac Witty
    October 14, 2012 at 5:52 am

    Wounder when people in countries with ads free TV channels check their smart phones ;) Do see a lot of facebook posts, emailing and so on during the evenings?

  5. Yiz Borol
    October 14, 2012 at 12:54 am

    LOL! yes and not just TV, even when I'm watching youtube videos, the cellphone comes out if the video is longer than 2 min...

  6. Anonymous
    October 13, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    In my case I already stopped using the TV for entertainment purpose except for movie nights, sports or something familiar. At the moment I'm sharing a flat with some flatmates and we don't have any cable or something similar to watch shows. We only watch videos or play with the playstation. I prefer watching on my PC where I mostly won't be forced to watch a series of advertisement and I can watch whatever I like.
    To be honest even before my current habits I didn't use my cellphone for distraction during the advertisement. For one I didn't have the right mobile or didn't really know of the option I had and the contract I had wasn't favourable for the use of the internet. So if I was productive I just did chores I had to do or did my homework and if I was lazy I would just zap around and look for other interesting programs.
    Sometimes advertisement can be interesting or useful, but most of the time I don't really care to watch them.
    Should I ever use a TV in the future I would buy one with Time shifting. To tell the truth I never had the chance to use one of those TVs and I'm not acquainted with any person who posses a TV with this function, so I'm not sure if you really can forward during commercials. However I will look it up when I feel like buying a TV.

    Thanks for this great information.

  7. Scott Reyes
    October 13, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    I never actually use another electronic device when watching tv.

  8. Arron Walker
    October 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    interesting - My parents have never had patience for ads. We've always muted them, and ever since they got the live controls, they just pause it. I don't watch tv, but if I did, checking facebook and texts would definitely be my go to.

  9. Edwin Williams
    October 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I'm always amazed at infographics. They provide so much information and break it down for anyone to understand.

  10. Roi Ezekiel Arcega
    October 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm