WIRED came out with an article discussing both the brilliance and problems of the rise of the personal television. The article claims that with the rise of individual screens on tablets, smartphones, and laptops, communal viewing of television is disappearing. Television used to be something that the entire family would sit down and watch together on any given evening. Now, not so much. Even if the family is sitting down watching a program, most of the family will be on another device, whether it be a cell phone communicating with a friend, a tablet searching the web, or a laptop emailing a contact, everybody is distracted by their own personal screen.
The article also discussed Netflix and its participation in the phenomena of personal television, rather than communal television. Netflix has recently come up with the idea of personal profiles within singular accounts. This would allow for a dad to get personal recommendations for his favorite shows, such as Breaking Bad, while his 10 year old daughter could get recommendations for Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast. While this will improve the accuracy of our individual television experience, it will also further separate the family from watching television together. Netflix is also however trying to get people together, by recommending creating ‘family’ profiles or ‘couple’ profiles within the accounts. This will give recommendations for family movies or a movie that would be good for a date night. Netflix has played a major role in the evolution of the personal television by giving the user what they want to watch on their own personal device.
What do you think?
Do you think this is a big deal? Do you think watching television with groups of people will disappear altogether while the personal television screen options continue to rise? Or is WIRED making a problem out of nothing? Let me know what you guys think.