Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

5 Reasons TV is Dead


In 1979 The Buggles lamented the death of one era and celebrated the beginning of another with their hit single “Video Killed the Radio Star.” The song contained the lyric “We can’t rewind we’ve gone too far.” Much has changed since the television boom following WWII. We now have computers, tablets, and smartphones. These devices do what television does and more. They entertain and inform. They also do it better and with less commercials. One could argue that television will always be around just like film, but television and film are two different things. Television is a medium by which we receive entertainment and information. Film is an art form. Television has more in common with a smartphone, whereas film has more in common with a painting or a symphony. The mediums which we use to entertain ourselves or receive information come and go, but art is here to stay.

I no longer receive live television broadcasts at my house. I do not own a satellite dish, nor do I have an antenna. This does not mean I have completely abandoned television. I think Downton Abbey is one of the best things to appear on the small screen, and I dare not miss my weekly dose of the zombie apocalypse via The Walking Dead. I simply choose to watch these programs on my iPad or I purchase them on blu-ray. I can now watch them whenever and wherever I want, and I miss out on at least 10 minutes of commercials with every episode. Convenience alone is not enough reason for the death of television. There are other factors involved. Here are five reason why I believe TV is dead and why you should cancel your subscription today.

Watching other people live is not informative, nor is it good entertainment – TV was on its way out, but reality TV pushed it over the edge. Sadly, many Americans have embraced this crude form of entertainment. Reality TV began as a cheap way for television stations to fill air time. It was much cheaper than producing a show and taking the risk of it not being a success. Surprisingly, many of these shows became hits and reality TV exploded across America. People began to become famous for doing nothing at all. Growing up I use to hear people say, “Just because something is popular does not mean it is right.” Reality TV is popular, but it certainly isn’t right. It has no edifying value at all. It is not art. It is not even good entertainment. It is a way to live through someone else, usually someone who makes very poor choices. Don’t become a victim to reality TV. Put down the remote and go out and live your own life!

I want news, not entertainment – When I sit down to watch the news I want to be informed of what is going on in the world. I do not want to text in and vote on whether I get to see a story about a dog who saved a cat or the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile catching fire and going up in flames. Walter Cronkite would never make it in today’s world of media journalism. The news used to be just that, but now it is all about making a profit. Even when the 24 hour news channels try and report the news it is not great. When the Supreme Court ruled on the healthcare mandate CNN and Fox both reported the wrong decision because they did not take the time to read the entire decision handed down by the court. We now have better options for receiving news than the 24 hour news networks whose main goal is to garner ratings. We can receive news directly on our smartphones. We can follow reporters on Twitter. We can read many of the actual documents that are being reported on. If you want just the news, then TV is not your best option.

TV is a big waste of time – Not everyone who watches TV ends up wasting time, but most people do. We come home from work and turn on the TV only to find a Pawn Star marathon in full swing. Before you know it you have watched four episodes when all you planned on watching was one. TV is addictive. TV execs have figured out that if they end one show and start another one without a commercial break, then most people will keep on watching. They hook you with cliffhangers and ads for other new shows. Instead of being present with our spouse or children we are glued to a television set. While we are watching our favorite TV show we are also inundated with commercials trying to sell us something. We are being encouraged to spend our money on the latest and greatest thing. None of this is a good use of our time. If you want a better marriage or a better relationship with your children, then turn the TV off. If you want to feel better about yourself, then turn the TV off. With new and better options for receiving entertainment and information, people are figuring out that TV is a waste of time.

There are too many opinions on TV – Whatever channel you turn to someone is offering an opinion on something. You can find opinions on health, politics, parenting, legal cases, etc. Not only do you find opinions on all these subjects, but you find multiple opinions on them. You even have news networks created for whatever opinion you want to hear. If you want a liberal opinion, then tune into MSNBC. If you want a conservative opinion, then watch Fox. If you are watching a talent show, then there is always a panel of judges who are ready to give you their opinions. Although occasionally I will seek an opinion from a mentor or expert, most of the time I want to focus on forming my own opinion. TV rarely presents us with information, or even entertainment, and then allows us to create our own opinion. There is a slant to the reporting. There is commentary for each news story. There are judges to help you decide what is good music and what is bad. TV has become over-opinionated. Turn off the TV and make up your own mind!

TV limits our choices – TV appears to give us multiple choices, when in reality it limits the choices we have. Satellite companies advertise that they have hundreds of channels to choose from. They do have hundreds of channels, but they do not allow you to choose which channels to purchase. They force you into paying for all the channels when you only may watch five or six of them. A tablet or an iPad allows you to only pay for the shows you choose to watch. If you do not use a DVR, then you are forced to watch your show at a certain time and you have to watch all the commercials also. TV often hooks us. When we turn on the TV we see something we like and we are hooked. We keep it on a certain channel even though we never planned on watching that channel to begin with. We find a TV marathon and we keep watching for longer than we wanted to watch. Without TV you deliberately choose what program you are going to watch and how much time you want to spend watching a program. You are making a conscious choice about how you will spend your evening. You are not being suckered into a TV marathon or a station you stumbled upon. If you want the freedom to choose, then TV is not for you.

2 Responses to “5 Reasons TV is Dead”

  1. Reblogged this on Just Thinking and commented:
    I think this is a great article, and since I haven’t wrote much lately, I thought I would share it with you!

  2. […] 5 Reasons TV is Dead by Scott […]

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