I like to read Alyssa Rosenberg’s stuff at ThinkProgress, because then I can pretend to be engaging in high-minded progressive pursuits while I’m really feeding my TV and movie addiction. No, seriously, she writes very thoughtfully on pop culture and its impact on society, and I’m a big fan. So having said that, of course what got me interested this morning was a bit she picked up from Deadline about whether people have become too lazy to fast-forward through the commercials on their DVRs. Apparently DVR commercial skipping is down about 2.5% over the past year, and the obvious explanation is sloth of, let’s be frank, terrifying proportions, but Alyssa is hoping maybe people are watching the commercials because they know that advertising still pays the bills for a lot of quality programming:
I’d like to think folks are watching ads they have the capacity to skip with their DVRs because they recognize it’s a way of keeping the shows they love in business by convincing advertisers they’re still going to capture impressions. But if laziness gets folk sitting through more commercials, I suppose I’ll take that, too.
First off all, I applaud anybody who has reached what must be the apex of modern laziness, not even mustering the energy to press the fast-forward button on their remotes. No, wait, scratch that. FIRST of all, I would like to say that it kind of freaks me the fuck out that people know if I’ve been fast-forwarding through the commercials. Hell, apparently they know if I’m watching what I record within 3 days of recording it, which is maybe a little terrifying too? But my point here was the laziness thing, or the laziness vs. doing-right-by-advertisers thing, because I’ve been noticing that I increasingly don’t skip commercials on the DVR myself, and it’s not for either of those reasons. I kind of like having the commercial break to go get something in another room or catch up on email or my news reader and, sure, I could just pause the program, but why not just use the breaks they give you already? Is this weird or do other people also do this?