Be honest. Do you check your smartphone while watching TV?

Discussion in 'Television' started by Sarah T, Jan 21, 2015.


Do you check your phone for messages, Social Media, or emails while you are watching a TV show?

  1. Yes, I tend to multitask and do both.

  2. No, when I watch it is a time for me to unwind from the world and Social Media.

  3. Sometimes, if the phone buzzes I have to check it.

  4. Absolutely not! My phone is in another room on silent so I can focus on the show.

  1. Sarah T

    Sarah T New Member

    As much as I hate to admit it, I find that while I watch a show, I am constantly checking my phone. This is a sign of the times right here. Social Media is awesome, but it has begun to take over my "free" time. I actually try to force myself to just enjoy the show, but invariably I find myself grabbing the phone just to do a quick refresh on Facebook or IG. What do you think about this behaviour? Do we need to learn how to "unplug" from the world? Please tell me I am not alone!
    Lamont Wayne likes this.
  2. thinker013

    thinker013 New Member

    Discussing "unplugging" while watching TV is kind of a moot point to me. The point of unplugging is to take a break from electronics, which include TV, computers, phone, etc. Also the point of "free time" is time to do what you enjoy doing, so if watching TV and connecting to social media is what you enjoy doing, then why punish yourself by not allowing yourself to do what you enjoy? If you left your phone in the other room and didn't allow yourself to touch it while watching TV, would it be enjoyable? Or would you sit there the whole time distracted by the phone in the other room?

    I think social media becomes too much when people start basing their self worth on their social media. Whether or not they are smart, or good looking, or worth while by how many likes, or comments, or shares they get. That's when it's time to unplug.
    MollyT likes this.
  3. Torialou

    Torialou New Member

    I don't see the harm in checking your phone, playing on your tablet or being on your laptop when your watching TV, it's not like television is something that is any better for our health physical or mental any more than the others, so if you can multi task then why not? I find it a little odd that some people feel the need to update social media with every single thing they do though!
    MollyT likes this.
  4. alexandriadb

    alexandriadb New Member

    Yes, I do this too! I'm always checking my phone while I'm watching TV, but recently, I've made it a point to stop myself from doing and to wait to check my phone until the end of the show. I've decided to do this because I was missing things during the show mainly because my eyes were glued to my phone or I was constantly switching my focus to my phone back to the TV. Your phone and social networks can defiantly wait until the show is over. It scares me how dependent we've really become to our phone and how we are almost addicted to social networks!
  5. bigchunkycharlies

    bigchunkycharlies New Member

    Whenever I start watching something, be it a movie or a TV show (unless I'm just killing time), I turn off the Wi-Fi reception on my phone. Before I started doing this, I kept looking at my phone, even if it hadn't buzzed or rung at all. And when I wasn't looking at it, it distracted me just by being there. Now I can pay much more attention, and make sure I don't miss any details.
    However, if the movie/show is boring, I start wondering if someone has messaged me, or I missed something important on Facebook or whatever. Modern life has made us extremely dependent on our phones, unfortunately.
  6. meowmers

    meowmers New Member

    I think I'm spoiled by the internet because television does not hold my attention very well. Unless it's a show that I really love, I'm going to be doing something else at the same time, and checking my phone doesn't really detract much from the experience. What does worry me a little bit is when I'm simultaneously browsing the internet on my laptop and on my phone.
  7. Heliocid

    Heliocid New Member

    I rarely do it. Instead, when watching something on my PC, I often catch myself browsing internet on the second monitor. Sometimes there is just a boring scene, or I suddenly remember something I read about earlier and want to check it out. As I'm writing this, a YouTube video is playing on second screen.
  8. DishRag

    DishRag New Member

    But of course I do! When I'm watching TV I'm using it as a method to unwind and if that includes browsing Reddit or texting a friend, so be it. Only exception is if it's a new episode of a show that I'm really into. I had a few friends over to watch the finale to Breaking Bad, and the rule was no smartphones and no talking until the commercials. It was so good that even without the rule, I'd of not gotten my phone out anyway.
  9. ishting

    ishting New Member

    It honestly depends on what I'm watching.

    Mid day there tends to be not a lot of great TV shows on, or the ones that are good are just repeated episodes. If I'm watching these then I will be on my smartphone. I usually check Reddit more than any other websites.

    However I like to sit down with my Wife every Monday and watch The Walking Dead. Or every Sunday I watch Top Gear. When these shows are on I don't touch my phone at all.
  10. Skindal

    Skindal New Member

    As ishting said. It depends on what I am currently watching. During a TV show I would flip out my phone and check around and multitask or during a rather chatty part of a movie where I can just listen and not watch, but other than that I would usually just sit through movies without my phone unless it is a rather boring movie, then out with the phone!
  11. Oniska

    Oniska New Member

    I actually try to limit my social media use as much as possible. I won't take my phone out when I'm with friends and I won't check social media while in class or while doing a task. That being said, it's weird how much I feel the need to check the latest status update or the show's hashtag on twitter while watching it. I just really want to know what people think about it.

    One time, I was live streaming the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who, one of my favorite shows. And there was a chat window next to the stream where people would chat and share thoughts on what was happening. It was so distracting and yet so hard not to take a glimpse of it all. It reminded me of shows at the beginning of the 2000s (like TLC Live) when people would send in texts with messages and they would appear in a bar under the screen.
  12. q_margot

    q_margot New Member

    But usually I don't use it to check social media, it has more to do with the fact that I have "problems" with concentration. If what I'm watching is not very interesting at some point, I tend to browse a bit until it starts to get interesting again:)
  13. KMorin

    KMorin New Member

    Yes! I'm so terrible about this. Sometimes it's to post a funny comment about what I'm watching or ask a question (because I forget if I don't do it immediately) but then I get sucked in too far.

    My husband hates it and will hold my phone when we watch certain shows or movies together.
  14. Brandontw

    Brandontw New Member

    My wife does this. We will settle down on the couch, pick a show/movie that interests both of us, and start it up. Soon the phone is out, and she is all over Facebook and Pintrest.

    For a while I tried to get her to stop, and she would get defensive and say shes still watching. I quit telling her to stop, and I try to accept that her priorities are different. I always end up explaining parts to her, or she'll miss things, but that's ok... That's part of the marriage deal!
  15. Lamont Wayne

    Lamont Wayne New Member

    You are not alone. I often check my phone while watching television too. I do it mostly to check for messages on facebook, text messages or search for some information on bing, yahoo and google. It is a good way for me to multitask and save time. I also heard about some online moneymaking programs that involve the use of a smartphone.
  16. gabe614

    gabe614 New Member

    This is a constant struggle within my household. I am not ashamed to admit it is I who cause the problems. I get home from work and my ideal way to unwind is putting on my pjs, putting on something on netflix, and checking out my Facebook, twitter, messages, snap chat, e-mails etc on my phone. My wife detests when I do this. I view as kind of a way to just shut down the old knowledge computer and zone out. It probably doesn't help that I suffer from ADD and need to constantly be doing something. It is odd though that i can be hearing everything going on and follow along. If she changes the channel I'll notice right away. It reminds me of when my dad would fall asleep on the couch and my brother and I would try and change channel, and boom as soon as we did he would wake up. I guess you could say browsing your phone is the equivalent of that these days.
  17. faeiry

    faeiry New Member

    No. When I am watching something, then I am watching that something. I actually get into that "movie" atmosphere and I quite enjoy it. I prefer watching Tv Shows alone, to be honest, because every time I'm watching with someone, they start talking and chatting and it really disturbs me. So, no way I'm checking my phone or other devices.
  18. lopezmramon

    lopezmramon New Member

    I do check my phone very often during ... well, most times of the day. I'm not really ashamed of it! I'd admit this to anyone. Emails - Phone calls - Texts all in the same place, a TV show has its ups and downs so while I wait for something interesting to happen, that might be a great chance to check new posts on my Forum app ;) You know, this is a very versatile and ever changing media of communication and no one wants to be left behind.
  19. Ryanbuller0

    Ryanbuller0 New Member

    How could you not be between commercials. But as for during the show, an occasional check is fine with me. TV is nothing to be taken to serious and we must remember, they are "acting".
  20. z0mbie

    z0mbie New Member

    Depend on what I am watching. If it is not great series then I usually check facebook or some similar sites quiet often. But otherwise I am fully focused on what I am watching.
  21. Simon Wayne

    Simon Wayne New Member

    I voted for the second option because I myself used to be one of those people who found themselves having to rewind parts of a show to go back and watch the parts that I missed while on my phone. Eventually I made a conscious decision to move away from this behavior and truly commit to relaxing while watching TV, and I must say that I'm glad I did.

    I think one of the biggest things that helped me move towards this mindset was an acquired interest in reading, in which I would force myself to focus on getting through a whole chapter of a book without getting lost in my own thoughts or getting distracted by a cell phone or something else from the outside world. For many it may sound like something simple to do, but I think you'd be surprised how many people have a hard time reading a chapter of a book without getting lost in their own thoughts or distracted by something else such as their cell phone. I think once you are able to do that, it should be rather easy to watch TV without getting pulled away by your cell phone.
  22. KenBrace

    KenBrace New Member

    It depends on what I'm watching. If it's something I'm really into, it's family movie night, etc. then I don't usually check my phone. Better to kick back and enjoy the movie without getting distracted by something on facebook or twitter. On the other hand if I'm just watching some random movie that I've seen before, then yes, I tend to check my phone when I feel it hum.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
  23. Sudheer

    Sudheer New Member

    I do check my mobile often. I do multi tasking by watching tv and texting my friends on my mobile. It is my regular activity. There no wrong in doing that. Now a days it is common to do both activites at a time.
  24. jonnyringo

    jonnyringo New Member

    I am always on my phone. Its become an extension of my arm. I use it for personal and work emails, so the thing never seems to stay quiet. When I get messages I like to check my phone as soon as possible. You just never know how urgent it could be.
  25. wexfordchic

    wexfordchic New Member

    Both my husband and I tend to have a device in our hands while watching television. It is a great way to pass the time when there are commercials. We are not ones to tweet about shows that we are watching, but just appreciate the double veg-out time of watching a show and having something more fun to occupy our minds during the commercial breaks, which seem to be getting ever longer.
  26. olivia343

    olivia343 New Member

    Literally every time I watch T.V. or a movie at home I always look at my smart phone even if its to look at Instagram or to go on Facebook I always do. Whenever I do look at my phone I do when the show or movie is a little boring or when there is a commercial on that is very long. But while I'm on my phone I can still here the T.V. so I know what is still going on and if I need to look up then I just give my phone a break and watch the movie or show. Everyone I know does this and for most people that are older may only pick up and look at their phone only to answer a call!
  27. NadineCheri

    NadineCheri New Member

    It really all depends. Most of the time when I'm at home, I will leave my phone somewhere and completely forget about it. I guess I don't like to check it when I'm really into a show on TV, because then I need to take my concentration away from what I'm viewing and it's sometimes an annoyance. I don't have cable, but when I did, commercial breaks were perfect for checking my phone and making time go by. So I would say that is my exception!
  28. CroweA

    CroweA New Member

    Is there ever a time that I don't check my smart phone? But seriously, I do check my phone while watching TV. I can listen and stayed tuned in for the few minutes it takes to glance around on my phone. Now if it's a brand new show that I've been really looking forward to seeing, then I probably would wait until a commercial break.
  29. mmcgilton13

    mmcgilton13 New Member

    If I am really engaged in a show I won't play on my phone because I don't want to miss anything, however if I am only semi-interested in a show, I will multi task and play on my phone so I don't feel to bored.
  30. Nic

    Nic New Member

    I find television boring and unappealing.

    Obviously there are exceptions to this, but for the most part there are not many shows out there that can really engage me enough to stop me from using my smartphone during the show.

    But on the rare occasion that I find a show that can keep me fixated on it, my phone doesn't get touched.

    Maybe television has gone downhill lately or maybe its just me.

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