It started as a debate over where to put the Christmas tree. I wanted it in the corner of the living room where it would cause the least impact. My kids had other plans. They wanted it in the window so you could see it from the street. I countered that it would block the TV. Their response:
“But we don’t even watch TV anymore!”
In unison, they shot down my argument. What was once the centerpiece of the living room was now just another piece of furniture they didn’t care about. The fears of advertisers and television programmers were embodied in those seven words.
I’ve written about my kids and their decreasing use of screen #1 before, but it bears repeating. They never watch TV. Maybe a bit of wii here and there or a family movie, but when it comes to watching video, the iPad, iPhone and desktop computer rule at our house.
My son is rooted in front of the computer playing Minecraft and watching countless YouTube fan videos and mod walkthroughs. Yes, he skips ads like a master. His current goal is to create his own YouTube channel. My daughter hides behind furniture or in her room with an iPad exhausting the Tween shows on Netflix. Sorry television, it’s not them, it’s you.
The future of media isn’t the second screen or third screen or some new manifestation of broadcast and cable. The future of media probably isn’t technology at all, it is users redefining a new unbundled experience that is personal, mobile and immediate. The future of media is sitting on my couch. Or more likely hunched over the desktop or squirreled away in a bedroom with an iPad. The future of media wants great content, but they won’t wait, so we’d better hurry.