On avoiding advertising (on TV)

I like that people try to avoid watching ads while they watch TV, but it’s probably not effective, and definitely not sustainable. On effectiveness For years TV stations have increased the volume during ad breaks so you still hear them when you leave the room to make a cup of tea. Now they face the challenge of people recording TV with the option to fast-forward through the ads at a later date. You’d think this would worry advertisers and in turn the broadcasters, but this quote from Sky shows the consideration they have already given this: “When people are fast forwarding, they are actually paying closer attention because they want to ensure they do not miss the resumption of the TV show.” Which explains their calmness pretty clearly. I should note that I’ve copied that quote from the Daily Mail … Continue reading »

On giving up TV, but not moving images

I’ve given up TV for almost all the situations I can control, including those situations where it’s appropriate to excuse myself from watching; that is, with the people who know me well enough not to take offence. But I still watch things you would call films, videos, movies or whatnot. So I thought I’d write a piece about the things I still watch and why I think they are acceptable despite taking a personal stand against television. The exceptions that define the rule… iPlayer vs. TV Long live AD-FREE socially-funded independent broadcasting and entertainment. The Beeb will never be completely free from bias, and it will always attract a certain type of journalist, but on the whole I wouldn’t want to be without it. iPlayer lets you watch quality content on demand. I’m not saying everything on iPlayer is quality, … Continue reading »

On the blurry definition of giving up television

The definition of television is changing so quickly, that although removing the physical device that is a television from our home is somewhat unusual right now, in five years time we may have many homes without traditional TVs, but where as much ‘television’ equivalent is consumed as it is today. So I thought it was worth exploring what it really means to give up TV, and how to stop it creeping back into your life in some shape-shifted form. Firstly, people interpret giving up TV as losing out on something good, like giving up on their dreams. I think it’s more like giving up smoking. While the physical device itself isn’t the problem, keeping it in your home is like trying to give up smoking and pointing all your furniture at a stack of cigarette cartons. I don’t have a … Continue reading »

On not watching television

When I tell people I don’t own a television, I’m often asked “how do you know what’s going on in the world?”. I wonder instead how people who spend their time watching television have any idea what’s going on in the world. I’ve come to realise that when people ask me “how do you know what’s going on in the world?” what they really mean is “how do you know what’s going on in the world of television?”, though in some cases I’m not sure they’re aware of the difference between the two.