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Two Screen Viewing and Social Relationships. Exploring the invisible backchannel of TV viewing

By Mark D. Johns

Abstract

Use of social networks to create a real-time backchannel of\ud communication among viewers of television programs has been documented, and has been termed “two-screen viewing,” with one screen devoted to the program being watched, and a second screen (usually a laptop, tablet, or cell/mobile\ud phone) devoted to maintaining the backchannel. Prior research has examined twoscreen viewing through content analysis of social media posts. However, little has been done to explore the way in which two screen viewing qualitatively changes the viewing experience, or to understand how this behavior contributes to the construction or maintenance of social relationships. Couch (1992) noted that social interaction require a shared focus, a social objective, and congruent functional identities. The first screen program provides the shared focus. Using online interviews, this small pilot project seeks to discover whether social objectives and congruent functional identities are established through two-screen viewing. That is, the study explores how one might go about determining whether this communication actually contributes to social relationships or serves some other, asocial purpose. The present study is a small pilot project only. Preliminary\ud data suggest that there are two types of two-screen viewing defined by different degrees of visible and invisible online practice

Topics: CATaC Conference 2012
Publisher: Murdoch University
Year: 2012
OAI identifier: oai:sammelpunkt.philo.at:2159
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