PSFK Asks The PurpleList: How Do You Use Mobile Or Tablet When The TV Is On?

PSFK Asks The PurpleList: How Do You Use Mobile Or Tablet When The TV Is On?

PSFK reached out to our global experts on the PurpleList and asked, what are your multiple screen viewing habits?

Nestor Bailly, PSFK
  • 7 november 2011

Similar to our previous question on how many screens are ideal in life, we’d like to drill down and get more specific on the viewing habits of the global network of experts on The PurpleList. When watching TV, do they use mobile or tablet devices? If so, how, and why? Here are some of the best responses.

Michael Myers: I call this media stacking (because I read it somewhere and it sounds smart) and when I polled my grad students, 100% of them did this.

I essentially check emails, read things that don’t require me to be completely engaged. I have texted about the show that’s on but it’s rare. The TV is on for background noise. I may look up occasionally to see what’s on but it’s rare. (supplemental)

There is another user type that texts (or IMs) back and forth during a show about that show. Businesses like and increasingly Facebook, will utilize these users to increase brand awareness, etc. (compliment)

I also believe that TV advertising could see somewhat of a comeback. When I really want to watch something, I DVR it. If I’m stacking, the TV is on and I’m not engaged, but I am however, sitting through the commercials. This means that if TV ads are structured differently – more audio focused to get the stacker’s attention, they may prove useful once again.

Will Osborn: I often use my tablet while watching TV, it’s just easier than my phone for a lot of things when sitting down.
I often look up films or programmes on IMDB or wikipedia to find out more about it or abut the topics. If I do this, I find it can add a lot more depth to things that I watch, as long as it is consistent or factual.

For live broadcasts, and a few normal programs, Twitter has become a lot more useful. When I look at my tweet state, it’s fairly clear to see the spike in activity when I’m watching a live program me or news report. I constantly talk to people I know for their opinions or search for news updates on Twitter to see if anything is going on that the news has missed out on.

Adverts really have become background noise now, unless it is something that really manages to grab my attention. Normally I’ll use the break to carry on any twitter conversations or do something else. Sometimes, if it is an interesting advert, it will often be pointed out by a couple of people at the same time, making people talk about it a little bit more.

I can honesty say I have never scanned a QR code on a TV advert, it just doesn’t feel normal to go waving my phone at the TV.

Brian Regienczuk: When I watch live TV, then I use both during commercials. On my phone, I would check/send emails, update my calendar, check facebook and tweet. Now that I have an iPad, I am reading a lot of content I have been missing (articles, magazines, upcoming events, videos, etc.) and also doing the above some too. I send less email with my iPad because I find typing on it less pleasant.
More often, when I watch TV, I am watching on-demand, Netflix or something else that has no commercials or very limited ones. When this is the case, I don’t use my phone or iPad unless an important email comes in or something like that.

Taylor WintersPersonally I use the tablet device to shop, post to FB or Twitter or research travel or read the New Yorker (the only publication I truly enjoy on my iPad to date) while the television is on. Not a huge fan or consumer of television in general, I find that a lot of the shows that find their way on-screen in our household are heavy in nature and I will use the tablet as a distraction that is not my computer (which denotes work). That said, at home, most of my tablet ‘tasks’ provide a comparable amount of levity. 

This question also sparked some interoffice debate and we put it to poll on our company Facebook page and the results of the post are as follows,

While watching television, preferred usage of a tablet or mobile phone device

37% shop
36% post to Facebook or Twitter
18% Google stuff seen/heard on TV *
9% Email

*indicates category added by users
WINTR company FB page,

Would make a good infographic!

The PurpleList connects businesses with the world’s leading creative minds. It’s an easy-to-use marketplace in which organizations and individuals can ask questions to a broad range of skilled professionals.

Read all the responses here – and if you’re a PurpleList member, leave your comments there too.

PSFK readers can sign up for expert membership using this link:


How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Daniel Pizzata

Robot Inventor & Creative Maker

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 21, 2016

Creative Agency Founder: Using VR As A Race Relationship Tool

Maurice Bernstein, CEO and Founder of Giant Step, explores the value in transforming headsets from high-tech entertainment tools into empathy machines

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Advertising september 23, 2016

These Trucks Drove Around In Circles For 24 Hours To Keep Time

The giant ticking clock was created by 14 Scania vehicles in a deserted airfield

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

No search results found.