Friday, November 23, 2007

Blow Up Your TV

Scott Lehigh pens an anti-TV column in the Boston Globe today. He recalls on a cab driver in Hawaii who had given up TV for the Internet:

And not just as an idle browser. He frequently posted under a nom de plume on a leading conservative site, whose readers, if you run afoul of their cherished tenets, will take you to task in the sort of language an 18th-century squire might have employed in challenging you to a duel. Yet I would count that transition from passive TV viewer to active Web poster as distinct progress…..there's very little on TV that can compare with the pleasures of a good book, or time devoted to a hobby, or stimulating conversation or doing something active…So try it for a week. Or even just for a couple of nights. Switch the set off. Stop watching. Start living.

Sound advice. Network TV does for the mind what smoking does for respiration. The providers of the product promote and profit while their customers slowly and willingly damage themselves in exchange for a short-term pleasure. But unlike the tobacco industry, the concentrated ownership of media content has been unwinding at an increasing rate since the web came to be. In 10 or 20 years there will simply be no network TV, but in its place millions of online media streams that consumers will choose at will.

John Prine was right, way back in the 1970s!

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