Essay about Television Programming Technology
This assumption of common viewing builds out from viewing habits established before online availability, when “television’s status as a topic of ‘water cooler conversation’ was based on the reasonable assumption that others had viewed the same programming as oneself the night before” (Lotz, 2009, p. 52), but still influences our culture today. The most popular shows provide topics for casual conversation, and the niche shows help define subculture bonds and cliques with their inside jokes. In each case, these conversations and cliques depend on their participants’ knowledge about the shows’ most recent plot developments.
If viewers have a choice between watching at the scheduled time or exclusion from a conversation to avoid risking a plot spoiler, they are more inclined to put aside time to participate in the set viewing schedule. Spoiler risks are even higher for the online viewers that connect with other fans on services such as Facebook or Twitter. Because of this interconnectivity, there is a higher possibility of encountering instant plot commentary posted on these services. On one hand, this type of social networking strengthens viewer bonds