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TV Ownership in Decline: A eulogy

Nielsen predicts TV ownership in the US will be down going into next year, from nearly 99 percent in 2011 to just 96.7 percent in 2012.

via Ars Technica

It took me nearly a year and a half after cutting the cable before I finally gave in and sold my TV. I had previously replaced the 37″ Sony plasma tv with the much more demure 24″ Apple Cinema display, but had yet to fully accept the finality of that decision by getting rid of the redundant rectangle.

The decision to dispose of the tv in its entirety was more difficult than I originally thought it would be. In all honesty I was raised on TV. My parents both worked when I was in middle school and high school, and the TV became a sort of baby sitter to my brother and I during those afternoon hours. After dinner we would all gather around the TV to watch America’s Funniest Home Videos or if mom had the remote, the latest adventures of Jessica Fletcher. Getting rid of the felt like a betrayal to those positive memories. But faced in an inevitable move across Puget Sound in the spring I knew it was time to get serious.

I suppose life hasn’t really changed much since the departure. I don’t watch any less “TV” programming now than I did before. I still watch probably 4-8 hours of TV a week. Instead the deeper significance to me was that by selling off the tv, I was acknowledging that a chapter of my life had closed. I was deciding that TV no longer help as great a significance to me now as it did in my formative years. It had become baggage in a very literal sense. The knowledge that I was going to need to move that TV into my next apartment, carefully swaddling the precious cargo in u-haul blankets to prevent any unexpected wear and tear had finally become too much of a burden.

And so on that cold winter day I watched a stranger take that most prized of American possessions, the TV, and haul it away into the bitter darkness. However, inside I was warmed by the knowledge that for this TV, the story wasn’t over. There was another family anxiously awaiting it’s arrival, ready to plug a myriad of devices into it’s ever waiting ports…

Goodbye TV. We’ll miss you…

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