Is your living room a 'digital hub'? Do you watch TV as as family? Or do you all sit in the same room watching different stuff?

(46 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Aug-13 09:55:15

Hello hello.

You may have seen/heard in the news today that, according to a new report from Ofcom (the communications regulator), 'living rooms are making a comeback' as families in the UK are now more likely to get together in their living room and watch TV than they have been for over a decade.

But increased use of smartphones and tablets means that many of us are actually either watching a different television show from our other half/our children while sitting in the same room - or using other devices to do related things, such as Tweeting about the show or using tie-in apps or texting/messaging friends.

Does this ring true for you? Does your family sit together in the living room with different groups of you using different devices to watch/browse different stuff? Or do you all watch the same programmes? Or, even, is the centre of your family life a different room in your house altogether?

Do tell. We'd love to know!

500internalerror Thu 01-Aug-13 10:09:18

How can you all be watching different things in the same room? Surely people don't all sit together with headphones on? confused

Our only telly is in the front room, so yes I suppose that's our 'digital centre' . We don't watch that much though - we tend to go without for days, then splurge in a telly day!

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Aug-13 10:33:03

We think they mean folks are watching the same show in the 'main' telly but using other devices to do something related - so, Tweeting about the show, using tie-in apps, texting/messaging friends or updating Facebook.

Apols if our OP wasn't brilliantly clear. We'll amend it a little now.

MadeOfStarDust Thu 01-Aug-13 10:40:38

If we have decided to put the telly on, those who want to watch the program watch it, those that don't go elsewhere and do whatever.... we do not sit round on gadgets whilst watching telly..

but the kids might sit playing computer games in the living room whilst we read, or v.v...... We don't allow internet enabled gadgets in other rooms...

Tabby1963 Thu 01-Aug-13 10:45:25

Yes, we usually have the telly on and also our laptops, sometimes watching a catch up on that with headphones on, or playing a game...

Sounds just like my house. One of us will be watching telly, the other on the laptop watching a movie/catching up on American programmes we've missed, dd watching telly but playing with the ipad - we're in the same room, we still converse but are all doing/watching different things.

I like that we're all together but not doing the same thing. I MN whilst I watch telly, technology is great.

Tee2072 Thu 01-Aug-13 11:04:47

Yes, TV will be on but one or both of us, husband and I, son too young, will be on PC/tablet/phone.

Most often husband playing XBox while I cruise the 'net.

ArkadyRose Thu 01-Aug-13 11:05:34

We don't have a TV, but we do congregate in the living room on our various devices - DD3 watches Cbeebies or other programs on iPlayer on her PC, DP and I have our laptops and often will be watching something else on them with headphones and I'll generally be poking aroind on Twitter, FB & MN on my phone too.

Normally all doing our own thing in living room.

we're worse than that tbh - often ds is watching tv in the living room whilst i'm watching something on the laptop or online in my bedroom with the two of us floating in between. he's six - we have little interest in anything the other would want to watch so there's limited shows we'd actually sit down together for example doctor who.

if we're in there together i may be reading a book on my kindle whilst he watches tv or he may be playing on the tab whilst i watch the news or something.

there is just the two of us in the house but there may be 4 or 5 gadgets going on at any one time blush

question - why on earth does it matter if the people are both watching the same shite on telly (and not engaging) or one is watching telly and the other is on their smartphone?

Actually thinking about it, when we were kids pre internet/tablets we'd all be sat in the living room with the TV on, dad would doze off or read the newspaper, mum would do crosswords, I'd be either drawing or reading and my brother would be playing with toys. So I wouldn't say this is down to technology spoiling family time.

nope i'd say it's down to the simple fact that we all have different tastes and watching children's tv is soul destroying, things i'd watch i wouldn't want ds to see at this age and short of loving each other parents and small children don't have that much in common.

and actually in the 'all stuck in the living room watching tv together' era i was subjected to watching soap operas and dramas that i wouldn't dream of letting ds watch. so actually i think it's an improvement.

ArkadyRose Thu 01-Aug-13 11:43:33

Given that we've only had TV for 50 years, saying modern technology is spoiling family life is a load of bollocks really. The same thing was said of first radio then TV when they first came out and it was just as much nonsense back then as it is now.

I'm not entirely sure that all sitting watching TV is exactly quality family time anyway

SunshineBossaNova Thu 01-Aug-13 11:50:02

I tend to MN or tweet / engage with TV programmes while DH just watches.

MadeOfStarDust Thu 01-Aug-13 11:50:23

We have specific things we turn the telly on for, not just moving wallpaper -

so it can be quality family time - a shared experience type thing - rather than just something to do...

arkady exactly! plus would we really prefer to all go back to sitting round in silence doing embroidery by candlelight? marvelous stuff technology.

Madlizzy Thu 01-Aug-13 11:59:55

We can be all watching the same programme, at the same time, I can be faffing on my tablet, DH on the laptop and the teens on their phones.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 01-Aug-13 12:19:57

I agree with the others. It's a regular occurrence in our house.

is anyone going to mention the elephant in the room of the only reason living rooms are making a comeback is that so many people can't afford to leave the house?

saf Quite.

it's like saying people are 'choosing' to spend the school holidays close to home and do day trips and creative activities - not going on holiday is making a comeback.

errr yeah or ......

Tee2072 Thu 01-Aug-13 13:04:17

Good point, SaF.

Although we've always sat in the living room together, even pre-kids, on separate computers. We don't really like to talk. grin

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