Having taken a weekly note of my television viewing habits, it becomes evident that I am not a heavy television viewer. Despite my efforts to attempt a ‘binge-watch’ once or twice throughout the semester, I was often left unsuccessful as I felt I had better things to do with my time.
However, I did find that 90% of the time, I was always watching TV in the evening, in the Kitchen/Living Room space. This is the most communal place in my home as this is where my family eat dinner and watch television. The television for my family, has always been a tool enabling us to spend more time together. It is always on in the evening as my parents watch the news and then flick over to watch whatever else is on free-to-air or Foxtel for ‘background noise’. I noted that I often watched television for a few hours on several evenings just because it was on. This is the case with The Living Room, a show I often watched on Friday evenings purely for the ‘Hot or Not’ segment, because it has become a family favourite. The segment only goes for around 5 minutes, but I would always end up watching the whole show, as it allowed for family time that I may not otherwise have. It has become a family favourite as my mum often enjoys finding new television shows that we can watch as a family and this show has become the best thing on at this time (7:30pm). This is also the case with The Bachelorette where I only watched the show because my family had it switched on. I ended up thoroughly enjoying the show and it became a weekly show my family loved to sit down and watch.
In Week Four of Television Cultures, we discussed concepts that are very relevant to my television viewing habits. I think that the idea of a ‘shared experience’ and ‘social rituals’ are really important to me because I enjoy feeling like I am part of a community. I watch a lot of live broadcasts such as when Collingwood plays in the AFL as I love going to the games where am a part of a crowd. However, it is often easier just to watch the games at home especially as I am always busy. When watching it on television, there is a sense of a crowd watching with me considering that underneath the commentary, you can hear the crowd booing and cheering. It enables me to feel like I am at the game and makes it more enjoyable. The idea of ‘social rituals’, again falls back to the idea that I often watch shows purely because my family members or friends watch them. It enables for conversation to be sparked about for example, the topics within the show or ideas about storylines. Neighbours is a television program that airs every night during the week. At times, I was not at home for the 6:30pm start for the show, and often relied on my family members to tell me what had happened. This show is almost like a ‘ritual’ show for my family, as we have all enjoyed watching it over the years.
When watching television, I am also quite into the interactivity and second screens. Whenever I watch The Bachelorette or the AFL, I am on my personal Twitter account looking at hashtags made for the particular show (i.e. #TheBacheloretteAU or #AFLPiesvCats). This allows me to see what other audience members are saying about the show or the game and enables me to be part of a wider community that I may not necessarily be otherwise interacting with.
In saying that I watch a lot of TV in my family room, I must also note the occasional use of YouTube and Netflix. I watch a particular show on YouTube called Carmilla, a web series that I began watching, purely because of it’s hype. I am a part of a few artist fan bases, and found that watching the show enabled me to connect with and make new friends in these fan bases. I also love watching Netflix in my spare time, but use the service purely because it is so easy nowadays to access popular TV shows like Orange is the New Black that Australia doesn’t necessarily get straight away.
Overall I have found that I mostly watch Television due to its social factor. I tend to watch popular shows like The Bachelorette, as I am able to connect with family members and friends through conversations about these shows. It enables me to have a sense of community and makes television feel less lonely.