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Thread: Active or Passive Viewing

  1. #1
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Colbert Active or Passive Viewing

    Saw an amusing video about this, which went off into a strange direction about work management and discipline. Coming back to the original topic at hand though. When you watch a movie or TV series, are you an active or passive viewer. The way it's defined is basically do you give the media you're watching your full attention, or do you multitask and spend most of your time on your phone and simply have the thing on as background noise?

    I tend to be an active movie watcher, but I've very passive with TV shows. I think it's because films have less of a luxury for filler whereas TV shows sometimes feel like they are designed for more passive viewing so it's easy to maintain the idea of the plot and character arcs without needing to pay attention to details. Granted this largely depends on the films and TV shows you watch since the opposites can be true as well.
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    Sh♥tposter Extraordinaire Jinx's Avatar
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    Definitely passive. ADHD. I'm either playing FFXIV and dual-screening, or on my laptop and playing Sudoku. I don't try to read or scroll FB or anything when I watch.

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     Master of the Fork Cid's Knight Freya's Avatar
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    Drives me absolutely bonkers when I watch shows with passive viewers.

    It's one thing if it's just a sitcom background noise type of show, that I don't care about. As it's not something we're watching for a plot. But if it's something has a plot, oh man do I get grumpy. It's almost a 100% return for my friends and family who do the passive watching (they're playing on their phone or computer or whatever) that they are the same ones who will come with "hot takes" about a show or movie that was really them just missing stuff in the show/movie. Instead of ever admitting that they just straight-up missed things, they just double down on how something was bad or not presented right.

    We were having friends over to watch shows with, and that drove me bonkers when someone would pull a phone out. For me, it was a group sharing event for a piece of media we all could watch and enjoy and discuss. When they do such a thing, it makes me mad cause it is a bit disrespectful to the group. Everyone else is there to put that effort in, and you're not... because of some stupid meme on fb?

    Really it's just phones in general that bug me about being out with others. People are so incredibly addicted to them. It'll happen at dinners, at get-togethers, at DnD nights even. When bored, just even slightly bored as in a lull in conversation, people will pull a phone out, out of habit. But in a social situation, it's signaling that the person you're with is not important.

    I hate it.


    I like to analyze media so I'm an active watcher. I'm only passive with sitcoms/reality shows that i've seen or don't need to most attentive focus like Kitchen Nightmares when I'm folding laundry kinda thing.

  4. #4
    Huh? Flower?! What the hell?! Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    I usually start out Active but on a long binge I switch to Passive. I have a habit that drives my other half insane that, if I recognise an actor - usually a voice actor's voice - I have to look up what else they've been in to figure out where I recognise them from. There's a really very shallow pool. Oh, yet another voice actor who was in Persona and Danganronpa and played the legendary character Additional Voices in FFXIII-2 what do you know. And yet, gotta do it!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotic View Post
    I have a habit that drives my other half insane that, if I recognise an actor - usually a voice actor's voice - I have to look up what else they've been in to figure out where I recognise them from. There's a really very shallow pool. Oh, yet another voice actor who was in Persona and Danganronpa and played the legendary character Additional Voices in FFXIII-2 what do you know. And yet, gotta do it!
    I'm the best at this. Randomly spotted Robbie Coltrane in Flash Gordon one day in like one split second scene where he's assisting a flight takeoff. My whole family does this but I'm the reigning champion lol.

    Oh yeah and one time I figured out a random frog in the 10th kingdom had the same VA as Whisper's brother in the original Fable.

  6. #6
    Shlup's Retired Pimp Raistlin's Avatar
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    If I haven't seen it before and I'm interested, then active, and I can be annoyed by passive viewers (to the extent they interfere with my watching).

    If I've seen it before or less interested, then passive.

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    Same for me, though I've gotten increasingly passive over time. Which I hate. But it's how it is.

  8. #8
    Jessweeee♪'s Avatar
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    Depends on what I'm watching. Some things really demand your eyeballs be on the screen 100% of the time. But often I'll color or something

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    As Trixie Firecracker Lone Wolf Leonhart's Avatar
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    I've spent way too long thinking about how to respond to this thread. So I've made an unscientific television spectrum for reference:

    Active: You're fully engaged with a show, and have no distractions.

    Mostly Active: You'll glance at your phone every once in a while, maybe to see what else an actor was in, but you largely pay attention to what you're watching.

    Neutral: Split screen viewing. Let's say you're fishing in World of Warcraft while watching a show, or you're constantly glancing at your phone.

    Mostly Passive: You have a sitcom rerun on in the background while you're cooking dinner or cleaning.

    Passive: You keep the TV on because it gives the illusion you have company over, even if you can't hear it and you're sleeping on the other side of the house.
    If you make plans with someone to watch a show or movie, and you put in less than Mostly Active viewing, you might come off as disrespectful to the person who made plans with you. Constantly glancing at something else heavily gives off the impression you don't want to be there.

    If you watch a show Neutrally but post in online forums under the pretense of being an Active watcher, you come off as someone who's just watching the show for cultural brownie points so you can stay active in your friend's conversations.

    If you have an Active interest in a show but you give it Neutral attention or lower, you're doing yourself a disservice by essentially being half-interested in something you want to enjoy.

    For me personally:

    If I'm watching a show for just my own interest, I watch it Actively. I treat it like a movie theater where I want to digest everything that's happening.

    If I'm watching a show with family, I will be either Active or Mostly Active. Especially if you don't pick the movie, it can be helpful to google something on the fly, especially if your movie party doubles as trivia.

    As noted, the only time I'll be a Mostly Passive watcher is if I'm cooking or folding laundry and I put on something inconsequential.

    I'm never a Neutral or Passive watcher. I'm the type of person who has to be fully interested in what I'm doing, outside of chores. I have way too many hobbies and interests to either be half-interested or non-interested in what I'm doing.

    As the great philosopher king Harvey Danger would say: If you're bored than you're boring.

  10. #10
    *permanent smite* Spuuky's Avatar
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    I passively half-watch tons of stuff that my wife is watching, but which I have little or no interest in myself. But if I have selected something to watch it has my full attention.

  11. #11
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    If I知 watching something for the first time, I知 an active viewer with some exceptions. When my wife watches some shows that I知 coming into in the middle of them or have no interest in, I値l be more of a passive watcher if I知 watching it at all. This is unless she really wants me to watch it in which case I値l always give it a few episodes before I give up. Other exceptions are just shows like American Idol, Extreme Home Makeover, anything from HGTV, etc. That is always just in the background for me if I watch it.

    Sitcoms or when shows with more story that I致e already watched a bunch just exists as background noise for me while I cook, clean, or do other stuff. This only changes if I知 watching it with someone who hasn稚 watched it before, then I give the show my full attention.

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    Depends.

    If the subject I'm observing is really engaging, it usually has my undivided attention. However, there are moments when I'm more concerned with casual nonsense on my phone. As I continue into my second year suffering from writer's block, I find myself mainly making lists. Lists of superheroes I want to see in the same story. List of beautiful cartoon characters including anthromorphs. Lists of titles that need remakes and sequels no matter how many people argue against them (nothing is sacred, get over it). And of course, lists of various concepts I'd like to explore in my own writing. At this point in my life, I mostly can't move past this "list" stage to write anything real. So it takes up most of my time even as I sit and binge through seasons of Agents of SHIELD, Flash, Game of Thrones, Jessica Jones, Ultraman, My Hero Academia, the 100, and the Rising of the Shield Hero, all of which I tell myself is in effort to seed inspiration for my own work.

    But, in general, yeah, I'm mostly an active viewer.

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