We have information up the wazzoo these days. How so? So much so that one of the main things done while watching TV, aside from eating or talking on the phone, is surfing the internet. Ever heard of toasted skin syndrome (laptop leg)?

Of course, that’s only if we aren’t watching TV on the web itself. These past few years have shown a steady shift to cloud content, and upon reflection, it’s kinda been here for a while in the form of on-demand; newer derivatives include Netflix and Hulu.

Bottom line: today, the consumer is the most empowered than he’s ever been. Consumers have access to so many forms of media simultaneously, and mixing media seems to be the next logical step for many.

I’m sure you’ve seen it – that punk teenager at the grocery store cash register sending rapid fire text messages through the pockets of his hoodie without even looking. If he’s doing that at work, I can guaran-damn-tee you that he’s also doing that while watching Jersey Shore, 16 and Pregnant, or some other reality TV show involving a chicken suit-clad b-list celebrity skateboarding into a pool filled with cottage cheese.

Anders Erlandsson of the Ericcson ConsumerLab said, “Our in-depth interviews — especially those in the U.S., which is a frontrunner in TV/video consumer trends — show how social media usage is impacting viewing.” Haven’t you seen the hashtag at the bottom of the screen while watching Burn Notice or Glee?

Erlandsson continues: “This communication adds another dimension to the TV experience, as consumers found an annoying reality show funnier when they were able to comment on social media about ‘terrible’ singers, ‘ugly’ clothing or when your favorite team scores a goal.”

The integration of social media and television (or other video-based media such as movies) may be the next trend. Online watch parties have existed for some time already. Now with wi-fi television and new archiving technology, it’s only a matter of time before all this media is synthesized into one activity. That is, of course, unless robots (or zombies) take over the world first.