Television – A Drug For The Ages

Imagine a world without television? For many people worldwide, and in developing countries, no one owns a television, and the nearest television is likely miles away. Lucky bastards, or unfortunate few? According to the A.C. Neilson company, ninety-nine percent of households in America own a television. I suspect the one percent that doesn’t, is by choice. Sixty-six percent of American homes have three or more televisions. Guess I’m a minority here, as we have only one. At least only one working, plugged in television. This next statistic, is the one that really gets me. On average the television is on six hours and forty-seven minutes per day in a household. Wow! That’s almost like an entire work day. That’s 250 billion hours of television watched annually by Americans. Probably something like 60 billion hours in commercials alone. Just imagine the kind of things that could be accomplished in 250 billion hours? Staggering isn’t it? Now, if television is not some form of drug addiction, then I don’t know what is.

Which Ones Are The Bad Guys?

Not to say that television is all bad. There are of course all the educational television shows that have proven over the years to be good for our kids. Sesame Street has been a staple in many homes for years. And I’m sure there have been hundreds of thousands of kids that have learned to count with the Count. Fun to. Learning your numbers from a vampire, is got to be way more fun than some frumpy old kindergarten teacher with a run in herpanty hose. And of course historic and monumental events, like landing a man on the moon wouldn’t have had nearly the same impact if we all just read about it the next day in the paper. It definitely has the potential for making a big emotional impact not just on individuals, but on a nation, and the world as a whole. And that’s where it kind of gets messy. Not every event is as significant as walking on the moon, but the networks don’t seem to believe that. With everybody and their pet iguana on television these days, it’s really getting harder to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

Ethernet Killed The Video Star

As unfathomable as it may sound, television is in for some serious competition these days. The internet is making serious inroads into the psyche of modern pop culture, and television is starting to pay the price. People like choice, and that’s where the internet is chipping away at the mighty world of television. Ever since the day of the home VCR, things changed for the television industry, and the people who watch it. The consumer could now decide, when and what they watched on television. It really was a watershed event. Up until then you either watched what the networks had scheduled for you, or you went to the movies, and saw what they had scheduled for you. Now the internet is taking that even further. Not only can we watch what we want, and when. But now the population at large is becoming the producers of the content we watch. The popularity of video only websites, is on the rise, and its content and shows that we the people have created. It may be in it’s infancy. But as it grows, the big industry content providers should really keep one eye on the road, and one eye on who’s coming up the road behind them. It should be fun to watch.

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