Three years ago, my TV broke down and I decided not to replace it, depending only on a computer to watch what I wanted, whenever I wanted.
Alas, I have recently been afflicted by tech-hater-gobblins, and am now without a PC (borrowing a friend’s as I type this).
To make up for it, I went back to watching television. Knowing my procrastinating self too well, I opted out of the cable TV service, and have only the 4 channels my country provides for free (plus the Parliament channel, which is a soap opera in its own right).
Here’s what I’ve been missing:
From morning until lunch-time: talk shows with flashy colours, flashy hosts, packed with popular music (≠ pop) and sob stories;
Lunch & Dinner-time: The News.
Always one-and-a-half hour long, since stories about football teams, fashion, celebrities, new soap operas and more sob stories, are considered more important than corruption in banks, politics, health & education.
Afternoon & prime time: Soap operas.
After midnight: All the good TV Shows, documentaries and debates.
I am a Millennial by definition but still feel torn between the analogue world I grew up with and all the charms of the digital web-connected world. And here’s the greatest irony:
Back when I was a kid and there was no cable TV, no Internet, and only 2 to 4 channels, there was a lot more variety and much more to choose from. Nowadays, the message seems to be “Oh, you can get anything you want off the web? Good for you! Here: take all the other crap – it’s free!”
Sure, you now have a lot more freedom to search for and discover new things, food for thought, knowledge and culture. You now have better means to raise awareness for noble causes, to promote your own creative work and escape the mindless entertainment that television tries to feed you.
But, for that to happen, you also need to be aware that there is more out there than what the free media shows you.
My generation was lucky enough to grow up in a time when the media had higher standards – spelling mistakes in the best newspapers and news anchors with bad grammar were unthinkable, for example. But what of the kids who are growing up with a television where you can only find reality shows and hollow celebrity culture?