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It’s been five years since I watched an awards show or major sporting event alone. I’m not talking about Oscar Parties and Super Bowl ragers, I’m talking hashtags and screengrabs (of the TV kind).

The social web has forever changed how we watch major televised events. Heck, even folks attending live seem to be addicted to the second screen (is it called a second screen if they’re watching it live?).

It’s also changed the TV industry. Social media now has equal weight as ratings for how well a show or event did. For instance, Prince, the weirdos from 50 Shades of Grey, and the Amazon show Transparent overshadowed hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey in social conversations. Cynopsis broke down the 1.79 million tweets to show the real winners of the Golden Globes.

For better or worse, the reality is that social media provides a backchannel allowing us to connect and share commentary, joy, and disappointment with like-minded fans across the globe in real time, with real people. We all can be fashion critics, we all get to be armchair coaches, and we all get to publicly shame Keira Knightley for that hideous get up she was wearing last week.

So, let’s raise our champs glasses to toast the end to nights of sitting alone on the couch, dressed up in glitter, and only talking Oscar gossip or Super Bowl smack with your cat.

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