PSST, PASS IT ON: Whaddayou watching?

By the Keurig machines.  Over cubicles.  Via Facebook or texting.

Today, everyone wants to be first ‘in’ on the latest and hottest television show – whether viewercast on cable, Web, networks, YouTube or other talking animated media.  Now, PBS’ Downton Abbey is almost passé, with Monday Mornings and Girls vying for the lead [depending on what kind of viewer you are].  Or it could be seasonal sports events or reality show suspense, usually communicating the most recent iterations in the challenge or drama.

That yen to be vision-trendy started, critics and pundits insist, with HBO’s The Sopranos (though we contend it really caught on with Mad Men).  Or fueled by the amazing trajectory of YouTube, now calculating four billion hours of eyeballs a month. 

Whatever.  More important is the convenience of choosing to listen to talented artists and intriguing series at our convenience, wherever, whenever.  There, the thanks is due to all of the above:  Folks like Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey and Maggie Smith vying for small screen opportunities.  The at-your-fingertips access of old-fashioned audiovisual media, on new-fashioned instruments, from smartphones and iPads/Nooks to, maybe, Google glasses in the near future.  And the prolixity of channels, with Netflix now challenging traditional broadcast and cable TV in the production of original content.

But the whispering about watching is what’s got us thinking.  It’s more than just a conversation insert, like “what did you do Saturday night?”  It’s grown to infuse and infect our activities – perhaps in generating content à la reality shows or creating a pastiche of the 1970s’ ad era in presentations.  It has, in short, got us talking and thinking, across generations, spanning cultures and attitudes.  It represents, in short, exactly the kind of ideas we might want to adopt for internal corporate dialogues, a way to help ensure our business messages go viral in the right ways.

“If you don’t stop watching the idiot box,” as teacher Mom and retailer Dad used to warn us, “your mind won’t develop.”