After 9 days in Lockdown I have decided to make a late career change.
I started out at university reading law but it didn’t take me too long to suspect that, whilst the logic of it had the enticing appeal of mathematics without numbers, I didn’t have the prerequisite discipline to sift through the reams of unending detail. My suspicions were confirmed many years later when I was called to appear as a media expert-witness before The Competition Commission SA.
It was then I realised that the most important thing you need to have as a lawyer is a suitcase with wheels.
Now I know a thing or two about padding a presentation and I have a Masters degree in Cut n Paste. But I don’t believe I have never seen so much paper and so much shuffling thereof.
After 9 days of #Lockdown2020 I am beginning to wonder if I wasn’t a little premature in making that decision.
During #Lockdown2020 chez Muller is supplementing its normal #media diet with increased binge viewing on TV. Pretty much like the rest of the world it seems.
In the US over the years, children’s viewing habits have shifted to online streaming, social media and gaming platforms, while linear TV viewing has been on a steep decline. In the early days of quarantine last month though, Nielsen was reporting massive increases in ratings for linear TV broadcasts. Total day viewing of Cartoon Network was up 58%. Viewing of Disney Channel was up 43%. Boomerang was up 31% and Nickelodeon experienced a 25% lift in viewers.
Over the same period of quarantine, Nielsen linear adult TV ratings for the most popular weekly network television shows indicated slow but steady improvement as more and more people self-isolate at home. Not surprisingly, news programme, 60 Minutes, had the biggest increase in viewership, showing that a quarantined public remains hungry for information
In South Africa much the same pattern emerges with viewership of most genres on DStv showing significantly increased viewership week on week, even before the start of Lockdown2020. Not surprisingly, news leads the charge and the decline in sport viewership affirms that none of the efforts to maintain sporting passions, with countless reruns of classic games, has been remotely successful. Hell I’ve watched the Boks beating England in the RWC Final so many times, that even I could tackle Cheslin Kolbe if he tried the same inside step again.
But I digress. I’m talking the law and my career change.
After watching The Good Wife for eight days solid I’ve come to realise that there is nothing I don’t know about the law and how it works. And I don’t even have a suitcase with wheels. All you need to be a successful lawyer in Chicago is a little bit of anecdotal information, gleaned down at the local bar over a few tequilas, and the ability to connect the dots in a creative yet convincing manner. In many respects just like media. Of course it also helps if you are able to put on an Emmy award-winning performance when you’re in front of the client. Sorry, I mean the judge.
Being a good busker never hurt anybody in media.
But on Thursday we finished a series of The Good Wife and so last night we decided to change the rhythm of TV viewing a little. We watched an outstanding award-winning Danish movie called Becoming Astrid, a biopic on the early years of the Swedish born writer and activist, Astrid Lindgren. Based on her own childhood experiences growing up on a farm in Sweden, Lindgren created the endearing children’s character Pippi Longstocking. The 75 books and picture books she wrote have sold over 165 million copies and have been translated into more than 100 languages.
Personally I’m more of an Enid Blyton man myself. I think Mr. Plod and Big Ears would have sorted this whole bloody COVID-19 mess out in no time at all.
So last night I learned an incredible amount about a truly remarkable human being of whom I had previously known nothing. That’s the first Lockdown Lesson for today. It’s not the walls and fences that we have built around our homes that are keeping us in lockdown. It’s the fences in our own minds. Use this time to knock down a few fences and explore new pastures, rather than always grazing with your head down in the same content field.
The other really important thing I learned is that you can’t do social media while you’re watching a Danish movie with subtitles. You have to actually watch the screen. Two hours without a mobile is the most liberating experience I’ve had since my doctor discovered that drinking red wine is good for you.
Subtitles are the cure for mobile phone addiction.
After 9 days of #Lockdown the really important thing I learned is that you can’t do #socialmedia while you’re watching a Danish movie with subtitles. Subtitles are the cure for #mobilephone addiction.
Gordon Muller is Africa’s oldest surviving media strategist. Author of Media Planning – Art or Science. Mostly harmless! Read his Khulumamedia Blog here.
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