The infallibly interesting Seth Godin has a post today about why he doesn’t watch TV any more and lists all of the things you can do instead, now that there’s so much more choice of things to do in your spare time. I was struck by the fact that all but a couple of his “new” choices have existed for years – I admit that running a store on eBay or starting up an online community do depend on a degree of 21st century connectivity, but most of the others are just slight variations on things my mother used to tell me to do when I was loafing around the house as a teenager and she thought I should be doing something more productive. (This might mean my mum is a visionary marketing guru who was years ahead of her time, but I doubt it.)
I don’t watch a lot of TV when it’s broadcast now because I’m working/my kids monopolise the remote in the early evenings and there’s only so much Hannah Montana a grown woman can take (Phineas and Ferb is good, though)/I’d rather read a good book/I watch stuff I like on DVD when I can watch it in satisfyingly long chunks rather than rationed and with adverts an hour a week. But most importantly because I don’t find most of what’s on that interesting. Even when I worked in TV ten years ago it was clear that the really creative, bright young things were gravitating much more towards what might be possible online than what could be done in a TV studio. So not only is TV suffering from an increase in competition for its audience’s time, for me at least, it’s also suffering from a lack of really strong content to fight back with. So, all together now, why don’t you just switch off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead?