Do you watch the State of the Union? Millions of Americans do, although ratings for President Obama's 2011 address were down over the previous year.
I confess that I mostly do not watch the SOTU, and it makes no difference whether the commander-in-chief is one for whom I voted.
The SOTU is usually longer than it needs to be, and the constant ovations--with concurrent non-ovations by those who don't support the president--drive me to distraction.
Still, I know it's important to hear what the President has to say about how he and the country are doing, so I don't avoid the SOTU altogether.
How I usually "watch"
Please don't judge me too harshly, but my approach is as follows:
- Check on the progress of the remarks during the commercial breaks of the program I am actually watching.
- Review my Twitter feed every few minutes to see how the people I follow are reacting.
- Absorb the highlights and lowlights of the speech the following morning via NPR and/or CNN
- Try to disregard opinions from pundits about the presidential performance
How I might try watching
Even as I write this, I am not committing to watching the SOTU.
Still, as a digital journalist I would be remiss if I did not at least consider checking out the online "enhanced broadcast" that will be available.
- Starting at 8 p.m. elements promised on the White House page dedicated to the SOTU include graphics, data and statistics that build on topics in President Obama's speech.
- While you are watching, you can join a live discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #SOTU.
- After the SOTU, a panel of senior advisors will answer your questions on Twitter. Use the Twitter hashtag @WHChat for that one.
- AND, you can join in the discussion on the White House Facebook page as well.
Will you watch? Please share you thoughts in the comments section!