Gordon's Notes: The end of television - now it's official
I never caught the TV habit. When I was a child we were too poor to have a working television (really -- people gave us TVs but they kept breaking), and after that I was too busy. My wife and I watched Star Trek - Next Generation in its heyday and I think it was great stuff, so I'm not opposed to television -- it's just that I rarely have time for it.
If our children were calmed by TV I'd use it as a pacifier, but the commercials agitate them. So they watch Netflix videos, including TV episode DVDs, three times a week.
We're a weird family, so I assumed television was still popular among the normals. It came as a shock seven months ago when I realized how little television my children's classmates seemed to watch. Since then I've begun to pay attention to the slow and quiet collapse of broadcast TV in America. It reminds me of the disappearance of public smoking -- an unquestioned bit of boomer life suddenly impermanent.
Now the decline has become official, marked by a Clay Shirky book and essay that's receiving deserved attention:
Apr 29, 2008
Frugal people tend to be indifferent to television. Now there is a new question: Will television - especially network television - follow the downward spiral of newspapers?