A welcome return to family time, thanks to technology

There was a time, not so long ago when families would sit down in front of the ‘box’ and enjoy their leisure time together. It gave people an opportunity to talk and share their lives with each other. But as technology evolved and became more accessible, and available at more affordable prices, it developed the way family time was spent. There were TV’s in multiple rooms in a house (to avoid the inevitable remote control arguments), not to mention the desk top computers and games consoles.

But recent research carried out by Ofcom, has enlightened us as to the way our family time is evolving once again claims ‘The 1950’s living room is making a comeback as a family hub’, they also point out that ‘We are watching on much better, much bigger, more sophisticated television sets than we have ever done, but we are coming into the living room clutching our connected devices’.

Although, smart phones, laptops and tablets have brought us all back together in one room, that is where the similarities end. As whilst we sit in a room together now more than say a decade ago, we will be using a type of behaviour known as ‘media meshing’. This term describes how we comment on what we’re watching through twitter, and Facebook, or direct texting with friends. I don’t know about you, but I know if I miss a crucial episode of a gripping TV programme, I will avoid social media like the plague, on too many occasions I have been caught out and read who ‘done it’ all because I was watching half an hour behind on sky+.

Gone are the days when you will sit for hours, endlessly guessing at which film you saw ‘that actor’ in before, now you’d simply Google it.

The technology is advancing at such a pace that in the last year alone sales of tablets more than doubled. In fact communications is one of the few areas that is bucking the trend of feeling the financial pinch, as it has continued to steadily increase for the last few years. But, the numbers of televisions per household is steadily on the decrease.

But it’s not only television viewing to suffer, as the younger generation (15-24 years) are being drawn away from the traditional radio broadcast by such temptings as Spotify or Deezer, and it is this age bracket which make up for the group that watch the least television.

It would seem that programmers and advertisers have some catching up to do to understand how we can best be drawn in, and it would seem that they may have a way. So be very careful, for whilst you may not be giving the TV your undivided attention, it may well be watching you in the not too distant future, but that’s a whole other blog post!!

Chris Parsons