Checking In? Immediately, I think of making a phone call to one's family. But the newer definition addresses a bigger media world -- letting your friends (and family), perhaps some strangers, a TV network or so, and some marketers know what you are doing.
Formerly, checking in might have revolved around responsibility. Now you do checking-in for incentives -- points, discounts, coupons, or perhaps the availability of someone around the corner at the neighborhood bar.
Too bad TV viewing used to seem all about checking out. But I guess checking in to, say, an NBA game or a Food Network program is a good idea if, respectively, I'm buying a car from Hyundai and there's a great deal connected to it or a real cool mac & cheese recipe from Kraft tied to a show.
When you check in at a hotel, lodging assistants still can call you up a few hours later to ask, "Is everything with the room okay, Mr. Friedman?" That's a positive result from "checking in."
In return, the hotel is just "checking in" with its customers. So, by the same token, would it be nice for a TV network to "check-in" the same way -- to see whether I had approved of the deep red-colored royal chairs on "The Voice," for example?
Right now, TV check-ins are voluntary. But someday checking in may be required to win contests, be included in water cooler conversations, or maybe even watch the TV show itself!
Checking in for shows will then officially be like what any social media poises to be: a big party. Right now it's a party where seemingly anyone can attend -- as long as you have something cool to say.
But what joining the party -- and standing around with a drink in your hand trying to look cool -- becomes much more crucial? What if it becomes more like old school "checking-in" and missing the cut-off time, you're out in the cold, looking for other accommodations?
What does that mean? I'll banish myself to channel 954, watching "Fur Life Daily." No check- in required.