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The frequent changing of channels when watching television, especially for an extended period of time. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. I hate channel surfing. I can't understand why people don't just pick a program and watch it!
Switching from one television station (channel) to another frequently, either to search for an interesting program or to keep track of several programs at once. For example, What did you see on TV last night?-Nothing much; I was just channel surfing. The term transfers the surfer's search for good waves to the viewer's search for programs. This practice became widespread with the use of remote-control devices for changing channels while remaining seated some distance from the television set. [1980s] A 1990s version is Internet surfing, a similar process for searching cyberspace.
channel hoppingand channel surfing and channel zapping
n. using a remote control to move quickly from one television channel to another, pausing only a short time on each channel. I wish you would stop channel hopping! He spends more time channel zapping than actually watching.
See channel hopping
n. skateboarding. Bill spent a lot of time sidewalk surfing until the town passed an ordinance against it.