Multitasked Media Consumption May Mean Filling In The Pieces

A news story on a TV screen sits high in a gym workout room. With no audio, an on-screen message at the bottom of the screen appears to complement what a CNN anchor is saying: "Hundreds Killed In Chicago.

At least five people working out stop immediately. They watch without blinking. A video finally appears, and it’s reporting on long-term, increased violence in the Windy City.

One viewer then says something everyone watching wants to hear: "Not all at the same time! Whew!" (Turns out there have been 476 murders in Chicago so far in 2012, up from 20% in 2011, according to CNN.)

Modern media consumption brings on a type of media shorthand, when certain facts might not be presented or consumed perfectly by both consumers and TV business executives.

TV depends on us engaging in sight, sound and motion to get its full effect. But of late our attention isn't always at its fullest. Why? Because of increased multitasking. It’s like over-working on one's trapezius.



TV screens in health clubs are not new. But they serve as an example of missing pieces and facts when treadmill runners, for example, view news, entertainment or ads.

Many consumers go online to social media areas to moan, cheer and criticize. And guess what? They don't always have all the facts.

If you text while sort of watching CW's "Beauty and the Beast," if you surf music sites while half-listening to Fox's "The X Factor," you may not be getting the full picture. When it comes to pure entertainment or advertising, this doesn’t pose much danger, only the waste of media buying and planning. TV news? That may be a different matter.

Live helicopter coverage of a car speeding by other cars on a freeway -- with no sound or context -- may not be the whole picture. No matter. We are forced to come to some fast conclusions.

3 comments about "Multitasked Media Consumption May Mean Filling In The Pieces ".
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  1. Michael Seckington from NewsUSA, December 5, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.

    This prompts me to make an appeal that may be called "Zen and the Art of Multitasking". Clear your mind. When you are multitasking, don't be doing something else. Focus on the changing multiple tasks before you.

  2. Brian Hayashi from ConnectMe 360, December 5, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.

    I think this is the tip of the iceberg. The algorithms used to derive your news feed create a kind of echo chamber that presents an ersatz version of the news precisely fine-tuned to your own biases. Consequently, not only are people starting to only get a subset of the facts, they are willfully ignoring inconvenient truths that dispute their worldview.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, December 5, 2012 at 8:29 p.m.

    One can still only do one thing at a time no matter how quickly at certain times one can jump from one subject to another. Something is always missed. In addition, we all know that incorrect information in produces wrong information out. Subjection via ignorance is not productive.

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