If you're watching alone -- your "Community," your "Good Wife," your "Gossip Girl," your "Bones" -- are you really getting the full benefit of those shows?
Rats are like people -- at least, according to laboratory researchers. Rats are gregarious; they like being together. Kind of how TV viewers like being together during the Super Bowl.
This is social marketing at work -- the ability to keep people connected. But social marketing seems to be a second-rate effort next to having real people in the same room. Seems rats do better when they run together - sprouting new neurons and better brain connections than those sad and lonely rodents who jog alone.
Maybe that's how TV executives truly look at TV viewers. Animals move better and quicker in a herd mentality. Theatrical marketing executives might look at it another way -- focus on just one part of the theatergoers' bodies, or getting "butts into seats." TV executives, as we know, are always looking for "eyeballs."
TV measuring companies always talk about viewer "involvement" or "engagement." Critics say this stuff is tough to measure or that there are few common standards when it comes to research companies with different methodologies.
Multitasking is seemingly a key indicator fueling this engagement -- especially when someone texts to a friend about a commercial or TV show he or she has just seen. But what if you do not text, tweet or post on Facebook while watching TV shows? What then? Seems in this digital world there's a part of your brain that isn't working up to capacity. That's not what marketers want to hear.
Does multitasking actually have more value than devoted single-tasking? Exercise is a form of stress, point out researchers. So is social isolation, they say. Looking to rest your Twitter fingers during a key scene in "House?" Do that at your own risk.