Santina Muha
March 17, 2013 4:00 am

I currently don’t own a TV so I watch most of my shows through their network’s apps on my iPad, or through Hulu or Netflix. Still, thanks to my DVR, even when I have a TV I rarely watch anything “live.” And I’m usually fine with that. But there is one force in this world that drives me to find access to a TV and watch a show from start to finish, commercials included. That force is Twitter.

Here’s a few reasons why:

Spoilers

Usually the shows that I need to watch live are award shows and competition shows, for fear of social media spoilers. There’s little worse in the TV world than accidentally finding out who wins, or who gets kicked off, or who fought who, before you’ve had a chance to watch it. Sometimes you just can’t take that risk.

The problem I’ve yet to solve now that I’m staying in Cali is when there’s something being broadcast on the East Coast first, I have to stay off Twitter from 5pm until sometimes midnight. Don’t you guys think there should be a “hide other time zone tweets” feature on Twitter by now?!

Tweet-alongs

Watching the Golden Globes or the Oscars or American Idol will never be the same again without constantly refreshing my Twitter feed. When I think something someone said was the dumbest thing I’ve heard in the last four minutes, I feel comforted to read and know instantly I am not alone. No longer do we have to wait for homeroom or water cooler time to find out what everyone else thought of that crazy thing we all watched. Plus it gives us something to do during the commercials!

And I have totally started watching TV shows because of Twitter. If I see enough hashtags about a certain thing, I can’t help but want to join in on the conversation. I didn’t even care about The Bachelor this year until I saw so many people tweeting and FBook status-ing about it. And so I caught up and got hooked and join the Tweetfest.

Interactivity

Thanks to Twitter, television has become even more interactive. Remember how certain shows, (such as Bozo the Clown a million years ago) would include a “personal hello” to a list of names read off on a sheet paper? When I was little I always wished I’d get a “hello”, but with a name like Santina, it never came. But the times, they are a changin’. Even someone like me, with a name that would never make a generic Bozo list, has the chance to get recognition from my favorite TV character. And it’s way more personal.

Scandal is one of the most tweeted about shows on television, which appears to be a solid factor in the reason for the program’s staying power. With live tweets from the cast, behind the scenes pics and #AskScandal hashtags, this show is pulling in more viewers every season.

If only this was going on when I was younger! I can only imagine how pumped I would’ve been if I could’ve asked Dylan McKay, or Joey Potter, or Uncle Jesse a question about something I just watched, and there was a glimmer of hope that they might answer me. I was satisfied when I wrote them a snail mail fan letter and received a standard signed postcard months later. So when modern day shows like Scandal make instant gratification and inside scoops available to their viewers through Twitter, it doesn’t surprise me to hear they’re raking in the ratings.

Thanks to Twitter, we can have it all. I can watch BRAVO and instantly know what my middle school best friend from NJ, Melissa Nikosey, is thinking, AND what Real Housewife of NJ Melissa Gorga is thinking.

Pew Research Center recently reported “Twitter is not a reliable indicator of public opinion.” Maybe it isn’t the most precise representation of the entire world. Sure, it can’t accurately predict who will win the next election – Half the people tweeting about it may not even be eligible to vote for one reason or another, whether they’re under 18, not a citizen, or just an annoying person who has opinions but does nothing about them. But if you click that “discover” button, you will find out what is happening right now in the world, and what thousands of people think about it. And sometimes it can make you passionate about something you didn’t even know you cared about.

How much do you let Twitter influence you? Do tweet-a-long shows encourage you to watch more? Does it affect if you watch the show live or DVR it? Did you ever start watching a show because of a hashtag?

If you’re not on Twitter yet, my best advice is DON’T START! IT’S A TRAP! IT WILL JUST LEAD TO MORE TV AND TIME WASTING! But if you are already on Twitter, I’m taking new TV show suggestions @SantinaMuha. #Thanks.

Image via thetechpanda.com

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