For the past few years, I’ve done something that many of my friends think is insane: I’ve recorded football games in order to spend quality time with my family. Since the Ravens usually play in the 1pm EST timeslot, timeshifting the game until later in the afternoon has given us some fantastic and productive afternoons. Of course, I won’t pick up my phone or switch on the computer, lest the score be spoiled.
This coming Tuesday night, when LOST returns, I will be at an event. Thus, I’m recording the 3-hour event and watching it when I get home. I won’t be watching it live, but I won’t miss a second.
Timeshifting, thanks to DVR/Tivo, OnDemand, RedBox, iTunes, Hulu and others allows us to absorb media as we wish. No futzing with VCRs like we did in the 1980s and 90s. No long lines at movie rental stores.
This is all well and good. But don’t we lose the communal experience? The watercooler chatter?
How many times have coworkers or friends brought up last night’s big show that you DVRed, but hadn’t seen yet? You either feel 1) Left Out 2) Embarrassed or 3) Livid that they just spoiled the show for you.
I remember, not too long ago, calling friends and familymembers during commercial breaks to discuss what we just saw and hanging up midsentance when the show started back up again. While we may not be watching it sitting next to each other, we were watching it TOGETHER.
So timeshifting is awesome and it’s horrible – or it’s something in between.
My question to you is: Where do you draw the line? What programs MUST you watch live?
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