TV Dinners . . . and Non-TV Dinners
| Chihmao Hsieh |
Remember the times when families would get together at the dinner table for a meal and little Johnny would yell out, “Can we turn on the TV during dinner?” Ah yes, those were the good ol’ days.
Nowadays, as highlighted in this AP article released today, television is not only losing its grip on families but also on individuals.
People can get their news streamed in on computers at work, they can get it on the radio while they jog, they can get it on their phone as they shop. For those that do watch TV, they now can record on Tivo or DVD-R and watch whenever they want. Those associated with the advertising industries have taken notice, as all these new technologies will be changing pricing schemes at every stage in the value chain.
It seems like everyday we hear more about technological advances and how much they might be powerfully affecting the most general social structure of our society. (I say “might” only because both correlational and causal arguments can apply.) We have fewer confidants as according to last year’s ASR study profiled here (due to reliance on instant messaging technologies?), an apparently steadily declining marriage rate (my 5-minute google search turned up this and this) partially driven by the sheer number of potential mates available on internet dating websites, and a shift of economic activity to smaller firms due to general advances in IT (JSTOR article here).
What will life be like in 15-25 years? Perhaps some communities will perceive causal relationships between the pervasiveness of information technologies and the deterioration of social values. City planners and real-estate developers will build entire sub-divisions or suburbs that are impervious to the use of cutting-edge technologies. . . . Kind of like a 21st century Amish-like lifestyle trend.
Johnny could have his way again. . . . Pass the peas.