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TV, the worst kind of drug vol21

January 6, 2013

If you think buying Minnesota property for its future beachfront value is a great investment idea, you must be a Boomer !

Welcome to 2013, and I hope you and your family had a great holiday season and start to this new year. Welcome back to the Boomers – wtf ! blog, where we contemplate the future of our cohort. Individually, we are failing to consider our potential. Since we do have lots of time, lets agree on some ideas for becoming the Greatest Generation, and do it soon, so our parents can be present when we get the trophy.

I know, that sounded like a reality game show. The fact is, reality game shows have mega ratings these days, no matter how stupid the idea or outlandish the participants. The point is that so many people are cocooning, and watching the drivel.

I enjoy TV. Better said, I enjoy having lots of content available where and when I want it. Be it sports, movies, games or reruns, I want them when I want them. Herein lies the problem. TV is a drug, and all it asks is for you to focus. Many of us tend to focus in our family rooms, shutting out the real world. If needed, we focus while commuting, so we don`t have to talk to our fellow travellers. Some, usually the young, are now focusing all the time. TV is a drug that has very little value. Remember, all the content you see is delivered almost for free. This content actually costs billions of dollars. Just look at Hollywood, all the sports teams, most of the cable show content, news, costs lots of money to produce and present, and yet they give it away for free ! Think about that. Imaging what the advertisers are paying, just for the time to have you focused on their products ?

I do not even mind the motives, since being a Capitalist, I appreciate that with their technology and the social compact that its free, we do not have to watch. Watching is not a mandatory rule. The problem that bothers me is that the content is so bad. TV is crap.

My question is, who is more to blame, we the eyeballs, or the fact that the networks think we will put up with this crap ?

Lets not blame the networks. They are only doing what works. If the eyeballs did not watch the content, they would suffer lost sales, and would have to work up other types of content.

Yes, at my age, I have seen every type of ending. The underdog bites the favourite, the favourite does a blow-out, last minute changes, twists of every kind, watched the ebb and flow of events tug at the emotions, and yawned !  To think that I now have access to all the known data, what does that say about our attention span ?

There is only one reason to watch TV, and that is for stress relief. If you have a stressful job, TV can be a great relaxer. IF you are still working, with a short window to full retirement, you need to TV. Otherwise, you will be focused on the day of retirement, while still living in the now. That stress from living in both worlds will endanger your health. TV is a cheap option.

These are also a few reasons for having smart-phones. Wasted time in a doctor’s office can be regained. Commute time can be recovered.

Those few reasons notwithstanding, wasting 20 hours per week, the current average, is a waste of your skills.

Humans are the one creature on our planet that dream one level up. Dogs and cats can only dream about the present, or the past. Humans skew their self portrait to be able to imagine themselves in the future, a future that has them as better off. So, while most of the middle class is poor, they consider themselves average, and joining the middle class becomes a want. Advertisers know this, and use it to hook us. 

As a parlour game, check out you favourite programs the next few viewing times, and see who is advertising to you ?  You may be surprised.  Yes, if you watch sports, you get a lot of car and beer pitches. Lately however, see how many incontinent commercials are headed your way. Viagra has never been more advertised, unless Cialis is the advertiser. Mature diapers are now cropping up, and I saw my first catheter commercial this weekend. Christ, no wonder people PVR today.

Watch the vampire stuff, or Turner Classic Movies, and see what commercial value is being presented. Frankly, I sometimes determine what I want to watch based on the commercial content. It probably means that network TV is a dead industry, and we will be paying for content through cable or its ilk.

So, getting the TV drug for free is one thing. What happens when we now have to pay for it ? One possible outcome is that Boomers decide that TV is just a big waste of time, and start to look around for something else to invest their 20 hours per week in. Lets be ready with some ideas, so we can trigger the right cohort response.

Next time on Boomers – wtf, social mores and their changing dynamic on our culture.

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One Comment
  1. “Mature diapers are now cropping up”… sounds uncomfortable. But honestly, if I hear Tony Siragusa pitch diapers to “guys who leak a little” one more time I’m gonna platz. Someone please tell that fat slob to stuff the hoagie in his pie-hole and shut the fuck up.

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