Focus on the Feature (or Are You Even Watching This?)

Boiling Point

A few weeks ago I wrote about Live Tweeting television. At the time, my focus was on how you end up spoiling a lot of stuff for a lot of people. Time zones and the rotation of the Earth and that sort of stuff, all very fascinating. Well today I’m going to revisit Tweeting what you’re watching and expand it to include other activities you do while watching television or a movie of some sort.

Studies show that as a people we are increasingly addicted to our mobile devices, whether they’re smart phones or tablets. Unofficially, the study also concluded that we are all now assholes of a much higher order. Forty percent of respondents acknowledge that on a daily basis they use their smart phone while watching television and even more people used their tablet, inconclusively proving people with iPads are the biggest assholes around.

I do have a point here – when you’re watching something, watch it.

How many times have you changed the channel on someone who was sitting in front of a television on their laptop, or reading a magazine, or doing whatever, only to have them say “Hey, I was watching that?”

Clearly you weren’t watching it, because dramatic shit was going down and you were posting pictures of your Cinco de Mayo party on Facebook. If you were watching it, what just happened? Exactly. Asshole behavior.

Now, your lack of attention doesn’t necessarily affect me directly, unless you’re in the same room wasting space. It does, however, make you seem like an asshole when someone notices or when you later try to talk about whatever it is you were “watching” but are lacking key information.

To have a fully informed opinion on something, you must absorb all the knowledge you can. With a television show or movie, this is as simple as watching the program uninterrupted and without checking your Twitter feed. “But wait, Mr. Fure, what if I paused it?”

Sure, I guess, whatever – but is what you’re doing really that important? Movies don’t have built in intermissions. Television shows do, why not wait until a commercial? Then, instead of fast forwarding on your DVR, take the 90 seconds to do whatever is so Goddamn important that it must be updated this second.

This isn’t about me. This is about you. I’m trying to help you.

Many years ago I was a young lad inexperienced in the world. I hadn’t reached my full horror maturity yet and my knowledge base was lacking. And I thought Halloween was boring.

WHAT? I know, right? But here’s the rub: I hadn’t actually seen Halloween. Not really. Sure, I had “watched” it during the day time and was probably dicking around doing something else. I didn’t experience the movie as one should.

Fast forward to a point when a friend incessantly tried to push on me that Halloween was great. I decided to dance with it again, but this time I did it right. No distractions. No phone of any sort (this was before smart phones and back when cell phones only made calls). Lights off. I watched the movie.

It was fucking awesome.

See, that’s the thing. When people bitch and complain about you tweeting or updating or doing whatever instead of watching the film, we’re not upset for us, we’re upset for you. You should be experiencing the movie, not telling other people you are. This applies to your whole life. This is a real life lesson. If you’re out in the woods camping or traveling across America, don’t dig your nose into a Gameboy or an iPhone or pack a portable DVD player. Experience the experience. Ya dig?

Certainly there are shows that don’t require your attention. Background noise is fine. Cool, whatever. But with shows that you ostensibly like or movies that you’ve been told are great or that you want to see or with the glorious beauty of mother nature, take a fucking break from technology, man. Just revel in it.

There’s no reason to tell me you’re watching something while you’re watching it. Tell me later. Pay attention, we’ll have a real conversation about it. You don’t need to know what time it is in the theater – the movie is two hours long, so it’s some time between when you walked in and less than two hours after. Don’t worry about it. Facebook, magazines, iPhones, tablets, these are all things to make pooping less boring, not to interrupt the entertainment experience.

So please, for your own good, just take a break and focus on the feature. Or I’ll punch you in the fucking face, because every live Tweet and update I see pushes me past my boiling point.

Read More Boiling Point While You Poop

Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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