Sofalising is the new way to pass the "quiet" couple of spare hours between finishing what has to be done during the day (work, chores, study) and bedtime. More and more I find myself with one eye on the television screen and the other on the laptop screen. Almost everything I watch has a hashtag (#glee #bbcqt #brits #coachtrip #bgt #imaceleb) on *Twitter to accompany it, which helps to group the tweets and Twitterers talking about the same thing. Those not on Twitter update their Facebook status to comment on something happening right that minute on the small screen. Each tweet or status update is followed by a flurry of comments - but not for too long for fear of missing the next funny or shocking moment.
Ellen noticed this new trend for sofalising too, mentioning that less people are recording shows because they enjoy the Twitter chat that accompanies it. The Parental Circle team tends to disagree, pointing out that all the Twitter and Facebook chat contains spoilers. Cookiebird believes that the chat enhances the experience because you find out what other people think.
There was a time that I used to spend 59 minutes each night on the phone to my sister or my friend discussing what was happening in the world inside the television (it was 59 minutes because the phone call was free if less than an hour long) but now it's much more immediate and interesting using my social network. Also, if I get bored with one conversation, I can move seamlessly onto the next, usually without anyone feeling offended - in fact, they probably don't even notice.
I wonder if all this sofalising is healthy because of the scope of our extended networks or if we are becoming introverted and less adept at real-live conversations? Do we converse more with our online peers than our real-life family and friends because it is easier to find people with the same interests? Answers on a
*seriously, for those who "don't get" Twitter, download Tweetdeck. It "flattens" Twitter and lays out all the tabs in to columns on the one screen so you see everything and miss nothing. You can also filter out tweets containing certain phrases. It brings a whole new dimension to Twitter by eliminating the crap and shaping it to work for you.
This post first appeared on Typecast in March 2011