Concepción Latorre, 74, watches less television these days. “It affects a lot, to be listening all day long, in Madrid so many affected, in I do not know where many others … Man that they have informed us well, of what we have to do and not to do, but that the programs are so heavy, because not” , he explains by phone from his home in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Concepción misses the movies in order to give them a break from so much information. General television has reacted quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing the information needs of the population. Entertainment has been the big relegation these days on the grill. Given this, there is a part of the population, those over 65, such as Concepción, who face the constant reminder throughout the day that they are the population at risk while updating and commenting on the number of infected and deceased people. Concepción asks: “We [ella y su marido, Eduardo Vázquez, de 79 años] because we take it differently, but imagine all the elderly who are alone who begin to hear that more than 87% of the deceased are people over 70 years of age. You think: there I am in that little group ”.
During the first two months of the year, women aged 65 and over were the ones who spent the most time in front of the television, with an average of six hours and 30 minutes. Now, during quarantine, these figures are normal for the rest of the population. Last weekend, the second of quarantine, almost 35 million viewers stood in front of the screen every day, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to reports from Barlovento with data from Kantar. Viewers’ preferences are divided between information and entertainment, but news is the most watched these days.
However, the population over 65 years of age has not stopped preferring entertainment, according to an audit report by Dos 30 ′ for EL PAÍS with data from Kantar Media. From the moment the quarantine began on March 14 until Sunday 22, the most viewed by this age group was Express Survivors, followed by the same space with the nickname No Man’s Land and, fourthly, the last section of the same program, the three in Telecinco. In third and fifth place is the king’s message from last Wednesday, followed by La 1 and Telecinco, respectively.
These days, Concepción sees “the newscasts, some advance information from the ministers and not much more.” “Well, and some contest, we also follow those,” he recalls. Of course, she and her husband have been hooked on the series designated Successor, from Netflix. Contrary to statistics and the majority of the population of her age, she is a regular on this platform. “It is true that it is a generation that uses new technologies less,” confirms Paco Iglesias, psychologist and mediator of the ATYME foundation. “But it should not be taken for granted that having a certain age is an impediment to take advantage of entertainment platforms, quite the contrary, it can be posed as an entertaining question,” he highlights.
Overexposure of information worries more and more voices. On his Twitter account, TVE presenter Máximo Huerta reflected on Monday: “I firmly believe in information, it is my job and I defend it tooth and nail. But I also believe in evasion, in television entertainment. And now we are living in a time when our elders need to be able to escape from a reality that hits them more than anyone else. ” The presenter accompanies the text with a video that begins with a quote from a fragment of The Pilgrim, by John Le Carré: “Keep me informed, but not very informed.”
“That previous sentence is the one that I tell my mother on every call, and that I do not put the TV on, in fact I think I call to verify that it is not on at specific times. That she finds out what is happening, yes, but that she does not turn her into an overwhelmed woman of 82 years ”, continues in the video. Huerta recommends his mother other entertainment programs and the news “at the time it plays.” “But the rest of the day, because she doesn’t have Netflix or those things, I tell her to put on entertainment things, that evasion is very necessary.” And remember how important company is for the elderly, “and not scare.” “Informed yes, over-informed no”, he concludes.
Iglesias also recommends that everyone regulate their own news regime. “In this situation there is, on the one hand, the need to inform the population at risk that it really is, so that they take the appropriate measures. But that same information may also have a less positive part, which is to increase the fear, anxiety and stress that already implies what we are experiencing. ” For the psychologist the key is “knowing how to dose the information”. “The good thing would be to choose the one that helps you cope in the best possible way with this. And prioritize the content that one understands is good and beneficial for oneself, “he advises. “There is always a newscast that you like more than another, but at certain times, when the information becomes repetitive, you have to turn off the television and do something else.”