I love when people tell me they don’t watch TV, or they don’t have a TV. TV zaps your time like nothing else – well maybe a child (any age) will too, but I always think that people who tell me they don’t own a TV or they don’t watch TV are trying to go the high-brow route of not wasting time with “that stuff”.  For full disclosure: I own a TV and I watch TV.
Here a scientifically insignificant study on “watching TV”:
Case Study #1:
My parents, (in Europe), pay a state mandated TV tax for each TV in the house (two), they have a cable box and have dinner at 6:30 PM so they can watch the 7:30 PM main news segment on public television. The exact same news segment will be shown on an alternate channel at 8 PM, but my father favors the ‘freshness’ of the 7:30 PM news, not to mention that the 8:00 PM news interferes with the movie shown at 8:15 PM. If I call from New York – which I seem to always do during the news – I’m being told to call back – after the movie. The toilet probably flushes at the same time in all of Switzerland during the only commercial break in a 90 minute movie.
Case Study #2:
I have a TV in my living room, a digital cable box with DV-R, a Roku box, and a DVD player. I watch the same four or five shows nearly exclusively because I stopped channel surfing since I have the DV-R. I have no concept of which show runs on which network at what time and what day of the week. I watch TV when I’m done with work, I fast forward through commercials, lest I disappear into the kitchen.
In real time I only watch NY1 while I go through my morning routine which makes me dip in and out of the living room. Occasionally I will sit down for an ‘event’ like the Academy Awards or a Royal Wedding (sorry to say, but I had a visitor who insisted).
Case Study #3:
My co-worker, a 26 years old recent college graduate, doesn’t watch TV – she makes a point out of telling me so. She watches Hulu, YouTube and Netflix – but her laptop is tethered to a digital monitor, the digital monitor is an old TV which stands across the sofa in the living room…. but she does NOT watch TV.
So, we all still watch something, be it life TV or canned goods; we call it ‘watching TV’ or ‘not watching TV’ – does it really matter?
My parents spend 2.5 hours a night between the news and a movie – their TV dictates when they eat and go to the bathroom.
I watch TV when I have “time” – some weeks more, others not at all – the shows are always there on my cable box. I want to believe that I watch more focused, however I do tend to watch ‘one more show’ because it’s there on my cable box and it ONLY runs for 40 minutes if I zap through the commercials.
My co-worker culls her viewing from many different sources and has left the structure of TV viewing behind her entirely.
How have YOUR TV consumption habits changed and how do you think it will affect the future of content production?
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