Two thirds of people admit they’ve lost the plot in TV shows and films because they’re looking at their phone

Second screening doesn't always enhance the 21st Century viewing experience, it turns out...

Rear view of teenage girl using phone app and remote control while watching smart TV at home

Ever looked down at your phone during your favourite show to check a quick fact on the internet only to emerge 10 minutes later with no idea what’s happening, or missed the twist in a film because you’re caught up in a particularly good gossip on Whatsapp? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

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Although “second screening” undoubtedly brings benefits and new angles to many television experiences, with shows from Love Island to Question Time actively encouraging viewers to engage on social media during the broadcasts, there is a downside to having your phone in your hand while you’re watching TV, it turns out.

Indeed, such is the distraction of the phone in the 21st Century living room (bedroom, kitchen or wherever else you watch shows) that more than two-thirds of people admit they’ve lost the plot with a TV show or film because they’re looking at their mobile.

Our survey of more than 12,500 global RadioTimes.com users saw 68 per cent admit that they “missed what was happening in a TV show or film because they were looking at their phone.”

But which nation’s citizens are most easily lured away from the TV by their phone; the Americans, Australians, Canadians or the British?

Well, it turns out that it’s us Brits who are most likely to be confused at the end of a show or movie with 73.5 per cent of British respondents admitting they had lost the plot because they were looking at their phone, with only 66 per cent of Americans and Canadians and 68 per cent of Australians left guessing after taking a digital detour in the palm of their hand.

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Now of course in an age of Netflix, iPlayer and YouTube, there’s no reason why people can’t rewind the show if they’ve missed something, but we’re not sure that’s how the programme makers intended it to be watched – or if other people in the room who are concentrating will thank you for it!