Stop me if this sounds hauntingly familiar to you: you’re sat on the sofa with your best friend watching something hilarious on Netflix, a funny scene comes on and it brings you to the brink of literally rolling on the floor laughing. You then turn to your friend expecting them to also be in stitches – but hold on, what’s this… they’re on their phones scrolling through Instagram, instead of enjoying the comedic genius of Love!? Wait, that’s not all, it gets worse… they then have the audacity to ask, as if they haven’t just committed a social crime, “What’s so funny? Wait, rewind that bit, I missed it.”
Some of you will undoubtedly be nodding your head right now and for those who are, then you my friends must understand the infuriating and completely modern phenomenon of double screening. While others might be raising their eyebrows thinking I’m over exaggerating, trust me I’m not, this is serious, right now as I speak this epidemic is infecting young people up and down the country. The truth is our generation isn’t content with just watching TV anymore, apparently we also need to desperately tweet on phones and play Angry Birds on our tablets at the exact same time. It seems for millennials and generation Z that the words ‘undivided attention’ have now gone the same way as Vine and Blackberry before it, banished to the black hole of recent history.
I don’t know about you, but I miss the good old days of screen monogamy when people could actually sit down to watch a TV show or film from start to finish, without the temptation of reaching for their iPhones and scrolling mindlessly on them for no good reason. Our generation needs to understand that double screening means effectively sentencing yourself to a state of limbo, being neither completely here nor there. You aren’t entirely present in IRL considering apart of you is flittering online and you can’t fully commit to your phone because you’re still trying to follow the plotline of the movie. Honestly, where’s the fun in only half watching something! More importantly, what’s wrong with being in the moment, being 100% present?
For instance, part of the reason for watching things with friends is being able to enjoy something together, however, if throughout the majority of the movie you’re constantly tapping away at your keyboard instead of concentrating, it kind of defeats the whole purpose of communal viewing and you might as well be watching the movie yourself. Also considered this, if you’re watching something as complex and subtle as House of Cards, how the hell are you going to pick up on all the seedy and conniving things going through Frank Underwood’s mind, if you were too busy scrolling through Donald Trump memes on LadBible? But in general, don’t miss out life’s greatest moments because your eyes were too busy being glued to a screen.
Moral of the story? Just put your damn phones away and watch the movie.