The couch potato has been mashed as smartphones and tablets change television viewers into ‘doers’.
Average television viewing has hit three hours and six minutes per day, but 77% no longer see themselves as a ‘couch potato’, research from Ninemsn revealed.
Almost half of Australians (46%) now use a digital device while simultaneously watching TV and 69% now “view and do”, performing other tasks and activities while watching TV.
While watching TV with a smartphone or tablet in hand, 98% of viewers are catching up on email, 79% are on social media and 78% are working from home or doing homework.
Seventy-two percent of viewers are encouraging friends to tune into a particularly program with a text or phone call and 70% have shopped for items they’ve seen on TV.
When it comes to engaging with what’s on the screen, 51% have posted social media updates about what they are watching and 50% have voted in a TV show poll.
According to Ninemsn and the Nine Network’s TV app Jump-in, those who use technology while watching TV can be divided into four tribes including the viewers, the seeker, the socialite and the doer.
‘The viewer’ is a dwindling group of people, just 31%, who watch TV without any other entertainment.
‘The seeker’ uses their computer, phone or tablet (46%) with 35% using them to check emails, surf the web and multitask.
‘The socialite’ uses their device to converse with friends and the doer is a mix of the seeker and socialite, they share all of their online behaviors and 82% search for content relates to what they are watching.
Dr Melissa Keogh, clinical psychologist, said Australia is home to an increasing number of viewers who are doers.
“They are keen to connect and share their views with others about the programs they are watching and are ‘leaning forward’ to become interactive and immersed viewers,” Keogh said.
“TV apps are allowing the viewer to pause on areas of interest, dive deeper into areas that interest us and skim where we don’t. It’s changing the very nature of viewing as we know it.”
When it comes to narrowing ‘viewer’ group, or couch potatoes, men are twice as likely to fall into this group. Older viewers, 55-64 are also more likely to be a couch potato then 18-24 year olds.