TRADITIONAL TELEVISION, MILLENNIALS AND BINGE-WATCHING– FROM TELEVISION VIEWER TO DIGITAL USER
Filomena Antunes Sobral
Prof. Dr., Superior School of Education from the Polytechnic Institute of Viseu - Center for Studies in Education, Technologies, and Health and Portuguese Catholic University - School of Arts - Research Center on Science and Technology of the Arts, PORTUGAL, firstname.lastname@example.org
In this multi-screen reality we live in, marked by constant changes in television consumption behaviors, the questions raised at the beginning of this century about the end of television (Katz & Scannell, 2009) have once again become a live issue and it is time for us to reflect on the position of this medium in an age of both media and social fragmentation. We are immersed in a post-television era in which audiovisual consumption is broadcast, not only on traditional television screens, but also on other platforms made possible by technological development and in which video streaming is a popular viewing practice among Millennials. The Internet has become a major means of communication for young people whose socialization and information processes are highly influenced by what they watch on screens, especially on their smartphones. This is an age in which viewing habits like binge-watching are becoming increasingly common.
Interestingly, we are evolving into meta-intelligence group-minds (Diamandis, 2013) within a technological culture that is finally achieving what Mcluhan established in 1964 - a culture that shaped the tools that are currently shaping us. Simultaneously, we are witnessing a culture based on technological devices that established the Age of EMEREC (Cloutier, 1975) or the era of self-media. In fact, if we want to understand what is happening in today’s world, we must go back to the 1960s and 1970s and to the studies conducted by Mcluhan and Cloutier on media and communication. Mcluhan perceived media as extensions of the human being and nowadays, as we reach the communicational stage advocated by Cloutier, we enter definitively the fourth episode. We embrace the self-media and realize it is an extension of mass media. We have reached an age in which both the emitter and receiver become one - the so-called "Em-rec".
Much has been said about the decline of the centrality of linear television and about the model of activity upon which TV will have to base its future. Never has the question of how to adapt TV into the context of technological volubility been as relevant as it is today. What are the prospects for continuity and disruption? These and other questions will guide the revision of the state of the art about a topic that concerns both Portuguese and foreign researchers. Thus, this paper highlights several discursive formations covering the present and future of traditional television and underlines the window of opportunity which may help re-create the medium: it is not about accepting its imminent end, but about emphasizing the need for reconversion instead.
Keywords: Television, Millennials, binge-watching, digital culture.
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