I can’t restrain myself from bringing this topic up to discussion (again) but last 4-5 months of Television viewing (read: analyzing) has left some tough questions unanswered in my mind.
There was a time when Television viewing had a different motive altogether. There were no Mobile phones, hardly any computer and no one had any idea about the future of communication- The Internet.
During those times, Television was the king of communication and Entertainment. The way we rave about internet today, we used to do the same about Television.
I still remember how I used to get excited just by knowing that there is a live Cricket match in the coming weekend. DD used to telecast every match and there was a charm about it, everyone including my father’s friends used to watch it at my home.
Then there were other shows- Ramayana, Mahabharata, Surabhi and the likes which were complete family charmers. We learnt religion, mythology, history and Indian culture through these shows.
And my friends I’m not talking about something which is 20-30 years old, it’s just been 5 odd years when things have changed dramatically.
During those days there was a slight generation gap between parents and their children, but today if you see there is a huge generation gap between me and my sister (just 8 year younger to me).
Today Television is on a threshold point, it can go either ways. On one side we have mediums which challenge television- iPods, Play stations, Laptops, Mobile phones and Internet. And on the other side we have content- Social networking sites, online videos, MP3s (pirated), Google, Blogs etc etc. TV as a medium has taken a leap from standard B&W console to LCDs/Plasmas and even in terms of content it’s doing every bit of experiment to come up with shows which can attract eyeballs.
This is not a fight to excel but a fight for survival. As a result we have shows like MTV Roadies, Sach Ka Samna, Rakhi ka Swayamvar, Iss Jungle se Mujhe bachao, Splitsvilla etc.
These shows are definitely NOT family charmers, but they have the capability to attract eyeballs from every genre of users. Children watch these shows alone or over net (but they watch them), parents watch these shows because they appear during prime time slots (and they are left with no other options) and remaining family members watch them because of the excitement which these shows are able to generate (but probably during repeat telecasts).
Now you can understand how the culture is shifting: Internet, Mobile and iPods promote the culture of enjoying life alone and doing your own things. That’s why when so many options are available over TV today (with options to watch over internet too) we don’t want to watch programs which every one in the family would agree to.
This is the era of personalization and I want my own thing. TV is such a moron in today’s highly technical world. Man! Was I so selfish 5 years back?
[This Media Monday post has been submitted by Rabi Gupta, a start up enthusiast and soon to launch his first product iDubba (Intelligent Box).]