All screens are not created equal
Not too long ago, there was just one screen in our lives. We called it TV. Everyone surrounded it at set times.
Now screens surround us. They’re everywhere you look, in airports, cars, grocery stores, and on gas pumps. And they’re closing in, on our desks, in our laps, and even in our pockets. In fact, screens far outnumber people.
Screens entertain, inform, challenge, and connect us. We watch them, write and work on them, play with them,…
Have you given much thought to screens? I often wonder: are they simply sheets of glass that deliver content? Or do they have distinct personalities? Moreover, do I behave differently when interacting with various kinds of screens?
Hmmm, let’s investigate this further. My TV is an old friend. I grew up with it, watched Germany score the winning goal in the last minute of every game, and was ecstatic when Eddy Merckx beat Zoetemelk on every climb. These are just a few of the magical moments I shared with my trustworthy mate. My TV is a wonderful storyteller which knows how to make me smile, laugh, and cry.
What about my PC? It’s very different character in more ways than one. For instance, my PC is a practical companion and also a working tool. I engage with it, and provide and receive information. Instantaneously. There’s a continuous give and take.
Let’s look at a screen that never leaves my side: my mobile phone. It’s personal. It’s intimate. It’s always there. Everywhere I am. If truth be told, I feel completely lost when it’s not with me.
Last but not least is my tablet. New and still a bit unknown, but oh so versatile and flexible. It’s the start of a budding relationship.
But can I cope with all these information sources? Well, what I’ve learned is that I often interact with more than one screen at a time. And with more than just the screen. I love to read the Saturday paper early in the morning when everybody is still sleeping and the house is quiet. Usually my tablet is by my side so I can read more on topics that pique my interest. Or react to opinion pieces and see what other people think about a certain subject.
As a car lover, I read the automotive press on a weekly basis. And my PC is never far so I can check out cars that catch my eye on Youtube to see how they perform in real life. The movies I quickly forget, but I have a collection of dream cars that I cut out and keep. I also love reading a business book while watching TV. It actually focuses my attention and increases my concentration.
Upon reflection, I believe the more information sources that surround us, the more exciting the dialogue becomes between individuals and brands and products. Don’t think of this as a threat, but rather as a huge opportunity.
But I’d like to hear how you relate to the screens in our life. Do you embrace them lovingly, have an unhealthy attachment to them or feel overwhelmed because they’re constantly in your face?
What others have said
I think TV is becoming less attractive to advertisers, especially with the standard broadcast schedule shot to hell by 300 channels and catch up TV. Who needs to watch adverts now anyway? But its still a great medium as its one of the only places we don't see a loading screen, which is quite nice. The more personal the device, the more we relate to the screen I'd say. Our phones and tablets more so now, followed by our laptops and computers. All these huge screens with digital advertising on the tubes, and at cinemas, its just white noise to the clever consumer. Its got no future in the thinking mans world.