I know I’m guilty of this new habit: scrolling through my social media feeds WHILE watching TV. As if watching television wasn’t bad enough, but I compound it with looking at my phone.
Second-screening — watching TV while also looking at your phone, tablet or laptop — is probably the most widely adopted destructive behavior of the decade. We keep hearing that it’s bad for us; we keep doing it regardless. It’s the smoking of the 2010s.
Psychologists were sounding the alarm as early as 2012 that this kind of screen-based multitasking seemed to be correlated with depression and anxiety. Did we listen? Did we hell. Back then, according to Nielsen, a mere (!) 40 percent of American adults looked at their phones or tablets every day while parked in front of the tube. By 2017, according to eMarketer, that number had climbed to over 70 percent.
The same study anticipated that second-screening would afflict 76 percent of us by 2019; looking around our living rooms now, that figure seems too conservative.~ Chris Taylor
Second Screening: Bad For Your Health?
Honestly, I didn’t realize I adopted this habit until I looked up from my phone to the big screen TV and thought wait, what did I miss? I muted my phone, closed all the apps, turned it face down, and concentrated on the TV.
I can hear my Dad already, “Jesus, pick a task, son!”
Multi-tasking of the 2000’s seems to be monitoring and interacting with two screens as mobile phones of incredible capabilities became easily obtainable. Televisions are now woven into the fabric of American culture.
You’re considered odd if you don’t own a TV.
Seems to me that second / double screening is really bad for your health, and companies know this – in fact, they are leveraging this destructive behavior to their profit.
“The zombified nature of the worst kind of second-screening may also be responsible for another trend: we are ridiculously receptive to advertising when we’re doing it.
That’s partly because we’re in more of a position to follow up on a TV ad if we have a device in our hands already. A 2018 study found the average viewer is 75 percent more likely to search for the product if they’re second-screening, and that you’re even more likely to do so if you’re over 40.” ~ Chris Taylor
Now that you are part of the countless Americans that are second-screening … will you stop or blithely continue?
There are several reasons that it’s a good idea to second screening according to a few other folks. Personally, there is no justified reason enough to double screen.
Just don’t do it.