In 1950, a device called ‘Lazy Bones’ was connected to the television by a wire. In 1956, a wireless ‘clicker’ was born. But in 1973, a more sophisticated type of remote was invented by the BBC and things were never quite the same in TV land.
The modern day remote is nothing like it’s predecessor — with features like warp-speed channel change services like Prism TV, you’ll never struggle flipping back and forth.
The remote control has certainly evolved. But one thing stays the same — men generally hog the remote.
Duquesne University communication professor Robert Bellamy, co-editor of “The Remote Control, and the New Age of Television,” has an answer — especially when comparing a man to a woman.
“Research suggests that men tend to want different types of information. Short bursts. Fast. Quick,” Bellamy told the Baltimore Sun. “Women are more analytical and want to watch one program a longer time. That would suggest in some ways that women are more depth-oriented and men are flightier. They want to control the remote because they need more instant gratification.”
Men know what the wants and take the most direct route to get there, whether it’s watching TV or driving the car.
It’s a guy thing
The Center for Media Literacy attributes this fascination with TV technology to a battle of the sexes — one in which women typically don’t participate. They found that “none of the women in any of the families used the remote regularly, and a number of them complain that their husbands use the device obsessively, channel-flicking across programs even when the wives are trying to watch something else.”
We won’t go so far as to say men have a short attention span, but it seems they can quickly sort what they want to watch from what they don’t.
Saving it for later
Interestingly, even though men tend to hog the remote control, they don’t necessarily dominate the TV, especially when kids are lobbying for screen time. Researchers David Morley, Roger Silverstone and Eric Hirsch at the Center for Research into Innovation, Culture and Technology at Brunel University near London found that when schedules conflict, a man is more likely to record what he wants to see and watch it later.
When later comes, he will — naturally — be watching his recorded programs with the remote in hand, so he can skip commercials.
Boys will be boys
The short answer is that men tend to hog the remote, not because they are selfish, but because it’s in their nature.
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