The TV Generation Gap Widens

I thought it odd at one time that my son doesn’t watch TV. Then I realized he’s part of a generation that finds TV unnecessary, clunky and old-fashioned.

That is not to say he avoids all television shows — just that he doesn’t need a TV to watch them. To him, it’s just a superfluous piece of furniture.

When I visit my son at his university, I realize he’s not the only one. In fact, finding a TV in a dorm room might be the exception now rather than the rule as it was in my own college days.

And why not? Consider my son — everything he needs and wants for study and entertainment is on his desktop, his laptop or his phone.

I know it’s strange to feel nostalgic about something as mundane as watching television. I’m not a TV addict and would much rather read a good book (on my tablet). But when I was young, it was something we all did together. Prime time really was family time, even if it was only for an hour or two a few times a week. Gathering around a television is sociable. Watching a show on a laptop, a tablet or a tiny phone screen is a solitary act.

So when our son is home, he’ll watch with us just to please us. Luckily, the DVR has made program schedules meaningless. We can save the shows we know he’ll enjoy (or tolerate, haha). I like having us share the experience and am loathe to give up that time together.

And our son, well, he humors us for a bit and then he bolts. He’s got games to play, Internet to surf, music to download! And yes, he’ll watch TV shows and even read — but all online. Sitting in front of the TV is just so quaint.

I’m curious. Tell me, parents, are your kids as TV averse as our son?

Kids — and young adults, is TV a part of your life? If it’s not, why not? If it is, what do you watch? Is it still a way to bond with family? With friends? Is my son’s avoidance typical of his generation?

I read an article that stated flat screens are going the way of the dinosaurs. I doubt it. We still need those large screens in our homes for renting movies, for binge-watching series, for games and for Super Bowl parties.

I think televisions always will be with us, but they’ll no longer be the “hearth” of the home. They’re already evolving into extensions of our computers. Our kids aren’t less addicted. They’ve simply switched from one addiction to another.

jmoonjones @yahoo.com
Twitter: @JadeMoon1