Thursday, 1 November 2012
Demise of the telly
Interesting post from cityunslicker about the number of people who don't own a TV set and how surprisingly common it seems to be among bloggers. Certainly that's my limited experience, because at least two people who comment here don't own a TV. That seems to be a high percentage compared to the 96.2% of households with a TV - according to Ofcom.
Early in our married life, we didn't own one either. Now our TV viewing has declined to almost nothing, I'm beginning to wonder why we have the thing. In fact we have two, which is even more a cause for head-scratching introspection because we can watch it on our laptops anyway. We hardly ever do, but we could - we don't need the great flat screen thingy in the corner.
In the evening we read, we browse the Web and we listen to music - watching TV is restricted to an increasingly thin list of films we've recorded. As we don't really like films, most of them are switched off shortly after the start. Our evenings hardly ever involve settling down to watch a good film. In fact hardly ever seems to be turning into never.
It's not a good idea to project one's own situation onto the rest of society, but I've spent almost my whole life with a TV set in the corner of the living room as part of the furniture. It was always the main domestic entertainment medium with the BBC dominating the field. As of course only the BBC is able to do because of its licence fee scam.
We still buy one of those TV guides each week and I still give it a peruse to see if anything is worth recording, but I hardly ever find anything to arouse even mild enthusiasm. I'm sure my futile searching is a residual habit, a form of conditioning which isn't easy to shake off. A very small number of almost worthwhile programmes keeps me searching. Intermittent reinforcement - it's how gambling works.
Maybe it's not worth the effort though, because even a spot of aimless Web surfing is more interesting and enjoyable than gaping at the TV. The TV set is technically outmoded but TV content is pretty dire too. Somehow it feels like a fatal combination.