One of the most annoying things about living in a sharehouse was trying to sit through the television news with my tedious housemates. How much fun it was to hear their very considered commentary about “the media this, the conspiracy that, I was reading in Pilger’s blah blah the other day…” Manufacturing consent? Here’s some consent. It’s Monday. I’ll let you take this $4.50 and go watch that Polish agridrama at the Nova. I need quiet couch time to watch Married With Children*.
Years later, and the Smug People of the Land Of Smug and their idiot cousins have broken into my lounge room through their twitter accounts.
TV shows are encouraging it. Watch this. If your job title has the any of the words “digital”, “social media” and “interactive” in it, you might want to apply some of this wonderful stuff after looking at those links so you can concentrate on the rest of this article.
But who really cares what @frogface78 has to say about The Block‘s Josh & Jenna’s performance on Millionaire Hotseat? And as far as we at Boxcutters know, you don’t get a Season’s Pass to the Canberra Press Gallery just because Q&A printed your Oscar Wilde-like witticism on the screen about Penny Wong’s supreme debating skillz. No matter how smartly you tweet, you’ll never be as famous as Jeff Jansz.
Nope, nobody cares. Not even the three or four people who retweeted you.
It’s just a ploy by the marketers behind the shows to make you feel like you’re a loving part of their terrible product. And hopefully while you’re feeling loved by their terrible product, you’re more likely to swallow another hour of their terrible product the same bat-time, same bat-channel, tomorrow. Why would I know this? Because I work in advertising. It’s what we plot in our offices almost everyday. Not that we know what we’re doing or exactly why we’re doing it, but the going wisdom is that we need more @frogface78s talking about our terrible products. It makes us money.
Which brings me to this funny little thing that happened this time last year at the footy… (Yes, every thought I ever have brings me to something that happened at the footy. Deal with it.) This time last year, I was talking to the CEO of an AFL club at his corporate lunch. He was proudly telling me about a brand new thing where supporters like @frogface78 can get their tweets shown on the big scoreboard during the game. The conversation went something like this.
CEO: “Twitter during the game can bring fans closer to the game and their fellow supporters. It’s interactive!”
Me: “Isn’t yelling HOLDING THE BALL YOU WHITE MAGGOT SCUM with 70,000 other like-minded fans interactive enough?”
This Twitter at the footy thing lasted one more week, only to be replaced by more betting ads.
I just fell asleep while I was typing that slightly endearing anecdote. And I had a dream. And the dream was set in the 1980s. After school. I was tweeting. Here’s the seven tweets that were selected by the station producers to be put up there on the screen.
- They’re so gonna do it!! #purrrrfectmatch
- Here’s an idea Professor. Build a boat. #gilligansisland
- Marcia, Marcia, Hell yeah! #pickofthebradybunch
- Johnno & Danno have the coolest jobs eva! #wavelength
- I’ve never seen so many logs. #beachcombers
- Is that Bud Tingwell in Catweazle? #deadsetlegend
- This show never lives up to the theme tune. #nannyandtheprofessor
So have I convinced you to put the computer down and give your television the respect and undivided attention it deserves? Probably not. Have I given you enough argument holes to tweet or point out in the comments box below? Definitely have. Will I, even though I’ve written over 600 words against the idea of tweeting at the TV, stop tweeting at the TV? Of course not.
I’m as sucked in as you are.
* I know. Married With Children was on Tuesday nights.