WASHINGTON—Citing the trend’s negative impact on individuals’ ability to effectively socialize, a report published Monday by the Federal Communications Commission revealed that a growing number of Americans are not watching enough TV to contribute meaningfully to small talk. “Our findings suggest that a substantial subset of U.S. citizens have not viewed enough primetime programming and therefore haven’t formed cogent opinions about the latest contestants on The Voice or the plotline of Scandal, resulting in weakened exchanges with family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances,” said lead author Heather Kessler, noting that a troubling percentage of those studied had gone up to an entire week without watching any network dramas, acclaimed cable series, or streaming-service-only programs, leaving them woefully ill-equipped to add anything of substance to conversations during lunch outings or in office hallways. “In fact, the average American was, at most, capable of remarking that they had heard really good things about Empire but hadn’t yet gotten around to watching it. In order to be fit for everyday breakroom discussion, nightly consumption of multiple hit shows is highly recommended—or, failing that, a cursory scan of online recaps.” Kessler went on to stress the importance of reversing this trend, as lapsed audiences were statistically more likely to pass the conversationally disastrous habit of not viewing TV on to their children.

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