Working out at the awful Marriott outside of the Minneapolis airport yesterday. Blissfully empty, I turned off the two TV sets (different channels, both blaring) and started my workout.
Fifteen minutes into it, a silver-haired executive-looking (how you do that in a t-shirt is anybody’s guess) guy walks in, walks right by me, reaches up and turns on CNN before he gets on the treadmill.
Try to imagine the opposite occurring. You walk in while someone is watching CNN and turn it off without asking. Never happen.
It’s clear to me that the media onslaught is the default. We’re so used to having the white noise of TV and the web that not only can’t we live without it, we assume no one else can either. What’s also clear is nobody really WATCHES it anymore (especially the commercials.) It’s just there.
I remember how special a TV show (any TV show) was in 1966 when I first started watching TV seriously. How everyone remembered every commercial and we all watched the same shows. I still remember some Batman episodes like they were yesterday… but I have no idea what CNN broadcast yesterday in the gym.
[last aside on this topic: 88% of the people with a TIVO digital video recorder skip every single commercial.]