Social media has been used in a variety of ways, but one of the most prominent ways has been as a “second screen.” This refers to tweeting or Facebooking while watching a television event, whether it be a basketball game, political event, or your favorite series, such as “The Bachelor” or “Pretty Little Liars.”
I must say, that I am an avid “second screen” Twitter user, especially when it comes to sporting events. For example, last night Creighton played for the Big East Championship and my Twitter feed was changing by the second. I could have followed every second of the game without even turning the game on by reading Tweets from my peers, Creighton accounts, and even national accounts such as Sports Center and ESPN. When it comes to basketball games, or any sporting event for that matter, I think a second screen only adds to the viewing experience. If you can’t get to a T.V. you can follow along via Twitter, and if you are watching, you can see others’ reactions, get team updates not available on T.V. and engage with other fans.
However, when it comes to weekly television shows, Twitter and Facebook as a second screen can have its drawbacks. If you are watching the show live, tweets and Facebook posts are great, but if you happen to miss your favorite T.V. show one week, these same updates could provide you with information you didn’t want to know. For example, before I ever had a chance to watch the season finale of “The Bachelor,” I found out who won on Twitter. Because I knew the outcome of the show, I know longer had any desire to watch the final episode.
In cases such as my own, social media as a “second screen” can cause a show to lose viewers. However, it can also have the exact opposite effect. If a show is getting a lot of attention on social media, it creates curiosity and interest. Maybe it’s just me, but if the people you follow on Twitter and Facebook posted every week about the most recent “Breaking Bad” episode, wouldn’t you want to know what they were talking about?
Social media as a second screen has its advantages and drawbacks, but overall it creates major buzz. If used correctly, it can dramatically help promote T.V. shows, sports teams, and even major company events.