I made the mistake a couple weeks ago of posing the question what was on PBS while we were in the middle of watching something on Netflix. Mrs. Cardigan tartly pointed out the fact that I had the remote in my left hand at that moment. Ah, so I did indeed. How about that. She also pointed out I usually hold the remote once the tv is turned on. I was unaware of that fact, but on reflection I guess she was right about this too. I rationalized this is because I happen to be the high maintenance one who wears hearing aids and that controlling the volume level was a bigger issue for me than her and that control of the remote had little to do with choosing the channel to watch.
We tend to watch things on tv together, and over the past quarter century have mentally constructed our own Venn diagrams where we pretty much know what types of things we’ll enjoy watching together and those times when party A or B may choose instead, without protest, to read a book or surf the web. These days we seldom disagree on program choices, so there’s little need for one party or the other to strive to control access for the ability to change channels. No one ever goes to another room to watch ‘their’ tv show. So maybe I’m not that bad on this account. Since Mrs. Cardigan pointed out I was unconsciously holding the remote, I intentionally make the effort to set the remote down on the coffee table once the volume level is set to my satisfaction. That way she can pick it up if she wants. I’ve noticed this has yet to happen.
The past couple weeks, I’ve also made it a point to watch what happens to the remote in other people’s households where I’ve visited and have found some curious differences that probably says as much about various folks’ psychology as it does about their tv watching habits. My FIL, for instance, appears to jealously control the remote and frequently channel surfs in the middle of shows when company (family in this case) happens to be present. If that weren’t bad enough, he tends to use the remote as a fidget device too, and habitually (and unconsciously) turns the volume up for a few seconds and then turns it down for a few seconds and then up again…ad nauseum. I’m glad I don’t live with them, I would go nuts.
How about you, what happens to the remote once the tv is turned on in your households?