Admit it; the future is scary. No, we shouldn't be trembling with fear in fetal positions or looting local markets for canned goods and Twinkies, but the future's unpredictability can torment those with a taste for the familiar. And what do we do to settle our nerves? We make predictions. One of which has been the popular declaration forecasting the demise of TV. Yet, in the face of danger, TV has proven to be immortal, consistently dodging death at the hands of technological advancement. Currently, many consumers would rather take a paper cut than "cut the cord."
In fact, as the world quickens, the amount of TV watched has increased by 25 percent over the last five years. According to Forrester Research, the amount of TV watched has jumped from four hours to five hours -- per person, per day. So, technological advancement has not decreased TV viewing, but rather increased it, making it more vital to human life than ever before.
This is not to say that TV has remained unchanged, as traditional TV consumption has greatly evolved. No longer do people sit lifelessly, melting deep into their couches as they are spoon-fed entertainment. This once passive experience has transformed into "social TV," an active exploration into social sharing that's expanding our notions of TV's potential. One technology in particular that is buttressing TV's evolution and bringing new life to living rooms around the world is the social TV app.
Blending America's love for TV and its fascination with social media, social TV apps seek to socialize a typically nonsocial activity (save for the customary "Survivor" parties or "The Bachelor" get-togethers.) The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has allowed second-screen viewing to thrive, and social TV apps are simplifying the process of digital social interaction while perched in front of the TV.
The early social TV market flooded with players, which made it difficult for startups to stay afloat. Though social TV apps are sprouting like weeds, as the game evolves and flushes out the weak, the strong are emerging, truly persuading consumers to download and engage. Many consider 2012 the year of social TV. So, here are five social TV apps solidifying this notion and transforming the "idiot box" into the "tube of engagement."