Monday, April 24, 2017

Core Post 5: Post Television

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.


  1. Interesting point about spoilers being a result of FOMO. As the media landscape is becoming increasingly populated with shows, I wonder if we'll ever reach a point where spoilers becomes less of a concern. Of course, there are still programs that are "must-see" and therefore exhibit the most immediate response that brings with it the discussion of narrative content. But on the other hand, if viewership becomes increasingly fractured among a diverse assortment of programming, is it possible that the risk of spoilers will become limited?

  2. I liked your reading of McPherson's article in relation to current viewing practices. I wonder if, in addition to us being motivated by spoilers, which creates new versions of anxiety, if we are similarly motivated by theories around shows. In addition to us being terrified of spoilers in the case of missing a show when it airs / when it releases, it seems to me that current fan culture surrounding a show also motivates us to "scan and search" the deep internet for potential theories of plot lines to come (here, I'm thinking about Game of Thrones and shows of the like).