Your friends invite you to a party, but sadly, you have homework to do. The next day, your friends laugh and share inside jokes, make fun of the guy who played guitar alone in the corner, and text each other photos of the girl who made a fool of herself with alcohol induced dance moves. You of course, aren't quite having a blast listening to this, feeling left out and full of regret for sticking to your duties. Imagine this situation happening week after week, day after day, hour after hour. The internet has become a giant, infinite viewing party, making any event or television show into a memorable sharable moment.
Tonight, the Grammy's took the world stage, and everyone was hanging out on the virtual couch of Twitter. No matter how fast you scroll, you can't keep up with the conversation. You find yourself no longer paying attention to the television; all your effort is spent tracking with all the wannabe comedians that make up the aviary social network. Taylor Swift head-banging while playing piano? Seconds later, you have a .gif or a vine of the occurrence. Pharrell wears are weird hat? Park ranger and Canadian mountie jokes galore.
Suddenly, the whole world has become a lot smaller. You laugh, you cry, you share hate for Lorde, you gush over Pink's Cirque du soleii performance, all with your phone or laptop. You're not only sitting in your actual living room, but you're also sitting in an online living room with all of your friends that you don't even know. It's an interesting phenomenon, and Twitter has done a pretty good job of telling everyone where the conversation about Jay-Z and Beyonce is happening.
With these worldwide viewing parties happening around some of the world's biggest events, missing the party could mean that the internet is almost indecipherable the next day. A visit to Reddit will consist of memes that make as much sense as your friends' series of inside jokes. Due to the 140 character limit, supposedly funny tweets will lack context. Your favorite tumblrs will be a series of .gifs that leave you asking, "Why is Taylor Swift whipping her hair back and forth?" You recognize the comedy, but the humor is missing something because you just weren't there.
The Grammy's, Emmy's, Oscar's, and the Super Bowl only happen once a year, but what about the events that happen every week? The living room is having a conversation about tonight's episode of The Walking Dead, but you have work to do. You check your phone for a second, suddenly, the show has been completely spoiled. Your favorite character just died, and you weren't able to watch the episode until tomorrow. You may have been the poor soul that checked Facebook the night of the Breaking Bad finale that you weren't able to watch, and one of your less considerate friends decides to make a status about *********** at the end.
What once was a fairly rare occurrence of missing out on cool parties is now a daily event. Even the references and examples in this blog post don't make sense if you didn't stay up watching the Grammy's, so you'll have to spend your time catching up on Youtube clips so you can laugh and tweet about it with your friends. You treat the internet like a minefield, actively avoiding spoilers your favorite show that you weren't able to watch live. This new living room has made the world so much smaller, but in order to stay with the trends, you can never leave the couch.