TV & Twitter: As inseparable as a promotional mug and coffee enthusiast?

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that more and more people are watching television while simultaneously accessing the Internet via their computers and mobile devices. I’ve personally been using my tech tools concurrently ever since I got my first computer. I pretty much couldn’t do my college coursework without my Word doc open and my TV tuned in to my favorite show of the hour. I guess something about the organized chaos has always helped me focus. I guess that’s weird, but I digress…

With the continued growth and popularity of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, users across the globe are connected to their social networks at nearly every moment of the day. Email, instant messaging, forums and profiles are now just a click away via your computer or smartphone.

While your security settings and preferences help to protect you, your content and your private data, it is no secret that every tweet, status update, comment, “like” and wall posting from each and every social media outlet is documented and logged. These stats are then being used to measure the engagement of users, and have even been used to gage the overall “attitude” of the nation.

With the emerging analytical power and massive amount of data collected by these frontrunners of the world wide social web, we are now able to see the real-time thoughts, feelings, reactions and emotions of the collective social media universe. While we know how this info can be used, it is another thing entirely to actually see these results and their relation to other media channels.

The analytics team at Twitter did just this to gage audience excitement and opinion during the Super Bowl earlier this month. The study showed just how connected and active the social media community is even while viewing a hugely popular, televised event. The Super Bowl is known to be the most viewed television event of the year. This month’s, Super Bowl XLIV, however, became the most watched television broadcast ever with over 106 million viewers.

With this many people actively engaging with Twitter while watching TV programs, it will be interesting to see how this trend continues to develop. I personally predict that we will see this dependency grow exponentially over the coming years as more and more people trade up to smartphones and netbooks. Social media is already almost an addiction to some. I’d liken many diehard social media users to a caffeine addict… I mean, coffee enthusiast… and their favorite promotional mug. You don’t leave home without it, you keep in touch throughout the day and you can never really have too many or too much.

Will anyone really be able to simply watch traditional television with the draw of the Internet so readily in reach? Knowing now what kind of analytical information we can get from social media sites, I’d love to see what this study looks like for next year’s Super Bowl game. How will companies use this growing dependency to their advantage? With their widely popular advertisements during Super Bowl XLIV, Doritos definitely did. Google did too. And now they continue to reap the benefits of their multi-million dollar ads via chatter about their brands on the social media web. How will others capitalize on this research?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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