It’s interesting to read the McPherson article in the context of 2017. The article has a precognitive quality to it regarding the melding of television and the internet (Netflix and Hulu), especially when considering the concepts of the “scan-and-search” phenomenon.
McPherson suggests that the “scan-and-search” phenomenon is essentially the result of FOMO, more specifically the fear out on “the next experience or the next piece of data”. The result of this fear propels us across the internet on an endless clicking rampage. What’s so interest about this is that McPherson suggests that this is the same phenomenon that keeps viewers glued to specific television channels out of fear that they will miss out of hidden treasures exclusive the specific channel on the specific evening. The reason why this is particularly interesting is because we can see how television and the internet have hybridized to solve these fears/anxieties through steaming services such as Netflix, Hulu etc. Television has evolved to stay relevant in the internet age while still propagating the anxieties that keep it relevant. I think that the anxiety has evolved some. It’s not so much the fear of missing out of the episode, but rather the fear of spoilers which has become so prevalent in the internet landscape. Every minute that you don’t catch up on your favorite show, you risk robbing yourself of the surprise, enjoyment and suspense that is in store for you.