Is TV Becoming Obsolete?

Noel Mikkelsen, Layout Artist

The first TV was shown in San Francisco in 1927 by 21-year-old, Philo Farnsworth and was only able to depict a line using scanned images with a beam of electrons. Although it was displayed so long ago, television didn’t start to gain popularity until the 1940s after it had gained some technological advancements.

People were awe-inspired and it quickly became a norm in the American household to have a TV in a living room or bedroom. The sales of TVs weren’t just in individuals and families, many businesses got in on the action. The invention of the television also created jobs for people in many different areas like marketing and news anchoring. Only great things have come out this invention. Without TV, we wouldn’t have been able to experience all the shows we loved as a kid like Phineas and Ferb and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.

Although it’s maintained popularity for a number of years, the once mainstream way of acquiring information and entertainment is becoming obsolete. In today’s world, people are always on the move and can’t schedule watching a show or learning about current events at a certain time like television requires. However, with portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, people are able to watch whenever they want. A Pew Research survey conducted in August of 2017 showed that 61 percent of people age 18-29 only used online streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu while only 31 percent still used cable.

According to NBC News and Time Magazine in 2015, the average cable bill was about $99 per month while the average Internet bill was only $50 per month, respectively. The cable bill is much more expensive than the Internet is. You can get everything that is on TV, plus a lot more, for less of an expense with streaming services. Shows like Stranger Things and House of Cards are not available on regular cable services and are exclusive to Netflix. So a person could pay significantly less and still have a massive list of tv shows and movies at their disposal to watch at anytime.

Many people I know have already cut the cord on their cable bill and have decided to just pay for Internet and netflix because they do not want to spend the extra money on channels they aren’t going to watch. My parents still pay for and use cable TV, but I have not touched the remote in years. My sole form of entertainment is Youtube and I obtain all my news from Twitter and the Internet. I am not missing out on any important news, and sometimes I even learn about events that have happened before news channels even go on the air.

Soon, TV will be just another invention like the cotton gin that we all remember in history class because it became replaced by other services that provided a faster and easier stream of data. I urge you to try and rely solely on the Internet and streaming services for entertainment and news. Who Knows? You may be surprised how much you enjoy it.