Don’t touch that capacitance screen — you’ll want to stay tuned to your smartphone or tablet to experience the latest in reality television: @SummerBreak, a new show that will air only on social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Vine.
In a bid to attract that hot young demographic that might not even watch much broadcast programming, social media TV may end up representing as much of a watershed moment in television as the introduction of color in the ’60s or the cable revolution of the ’70s and ’80s. The innovation of programming not meant for any kind of television at all is that radical.
@SummerBreak, which premiered June 17, follows the adventures of four high school graduates as they navigate their way through the final summer before college, reporting constantly — and quite realistically — to their compatriots via various social media apps and devices.
The most radical part of @SummerBreak is that it’s not a 30-minute or 60-minute program — it’s a 24/7 immersive experience that challenged the creative team behind the show to come up with new and interesting ways for the characters to use social media. It could very well end up being a “life imitates art imitates life” kind of situation, as viewers take the show’s new ideas and use them in their own connected lifestyle.
But as much as @SummerBreak uses the medium as its message, sponsor AT&T and the show’s producers hope the story and the substance of character interaction, not just how the characters are interacting, is what keeps viewers tuned in … if “tuned in” is even the right description anymore.
“We really love what’s going on in young people’s lives when they’re making that massive transition from being a kid to being an adult,” according to producer Billy Parks in an interview with the website Mashable. “All the Millennials and the younger people are talking about their summer bucket list, and we really wanted to insert ourselves into that conversation.”
Featured image adapted from an original by Flickr user thunderchild5