I know I am not going to be the first, nor the last person to ever say this, but the days of what we call broadcast television are numbered. The future lies with streaming audio and video content via the internet.
For those who are still skeptical about this future I can understand why, because even though I am a believer in this future, I still get my television through what is now considered one of the “traditional” means â€“ through a satellite dish. Despite that though, I still think that the internet is where the future of television watching is.
People have seriously talking about this future for about a decade now, and there are already services that we can subscribe to that will allow us to cut the cord, sort to speak. Services like Hulu Plus, Netflix, Blockbuster (yes they are still around), and with a combination of two of those you can watch much of your favorite television shows, and movies for less than what it costs for whatever form of cable/satellite service you might currently have. Then there is the fact that many new televisions are now equipped to access the internet on their own, and many come with preinstalled aps, like Pandora, Youtube, and even Hulu. All of that is well and good for many people, but there is a group of individuals who must stay tethered to some sort of receiver or another, and they are the sports fans.
Currently most sports broadcasts are only offered through mainstream television channels, like NBC, ABC, CBS, ESPN, as well as others. ESPN does stream some games on ESPN3.com, but not all. Once all sports are available to be watched online, then that will be the end of what we call the status quo for watching television. We’ll have to wait and see if that is a good thing or not.
There have been numerous studies that have shown how our ever increasing interest in and activity on social networking sites have actually led to a decrease in our ability to actually socialize with each other â€“ at least in person. This may seem odd, given the stated goal of these sites, which as we all know, and as mentioned above, that these sites are collectively called “social networking” sites; oh the irony of it all. While I maintain a love/hate, okay maybe a like/dislike, relationship with my Facebook page and at times wish to shut it down altogether, I realize that it, as well as the many other sites like Facebook, are probably here to stay; but that does little to solve the issue of the apparent decrease in those hooked on their Twitter feeds, YouTube streams, and Facebook updates ability to actually talk to real, live, honest to God people in public. So, what are we to do when “social” networking maybe actually destroying our ability to actually be social outside of cyberspace?
Well, there is a small collective in New Zealand calling themselves OH.NO.SUMO who have taken it upon themselves to try and break this trend of increasing public isolation with what they call “Stairway Cinema.” They put erect what looks like an awning over a sidewalk stairway, next to a bus stop and then literally project films on the inside of this awning. The films are selected by viewer and the hope is that passersby and those waiting for buses will stop by, enjoy the show, and actually socially interact with one another; rather than what has become the status quo of staring into our so called smartphones and “interacting” with people who are nowhere near us. What a novel idea, actually talking to another human! You can bet that there will be at least one person who will get peeved at those people who are talking during a movie, but they will probably just send a Tweet, or post their complaint on Facebook, rather than actually saying something to those who offend themâ€¦