TV: our new obsession


Design by Jane Bachus

Alex Barrera, Copy Editor

Our eyes have been practically glued to screens for nearly an entire year now, since COVID-19 has forced Americans to work and learn from home. It is no surprise that the average screen time has gone up immensely. The rise in screen time also comes with TV having an insane increase in popularity. 

The market for streaming services has grown by nearly 40% in 2020 alone. The unbelievable timing of Disney+ has been a major factor in the growth of the streaming and TV industry. After entering the markets, they became the third largest streaming service behind only Netflix and Hulu. 

The rise of streaming alongside the pandemic has equated to unbelievable amounts of screen time. Without the ability to go to a party on a Saturday night or go out to dinner with some friends, many Americans have instead turned to TV as their source of entertainment. 

Unsurprisingly, I have found the topic of conversation becoming television far too many times, and there are reasons why. 

According to a study conducted by the BBC, during the pandemic the average person has been watching six and a half hours of TV and online video per day. That equates to over 45 hours of screen time per week, which when you put it that way sounds absolutely ridiculous. 

According to a different study conducted by Nielson, American consumers watched over 400 billion minutes of streaming content in the first three weeks of March 2020, which is over an 85% increase from the same period last year. 

After seeing irrefutable results of studies done across the globe, it makes sense that so many conversations have been revolving around television. 

Some may say that that is ridiculous and that this generation of children are lazy, but I would have to disagree with that. What would have been “typical weekend plans” have been completely shut down, and instead of spending Monday through Friday at school we are now at home. With so much free time on our hands we run out of things to do fairly quickly, and in result turn to television to occupy our time. 

The mindless activity is such an easy way to pass time while stuck at home, so it is no surprise that it has become so popular over the past year. 

Our communal love for a good TV show has been a great excuse to procrastinate that next assignment for both students and the working class. Television has arguably created a substantial amount of laziness and a lack of productivity for the younger generations especially. 

Binge watching shows has become the new normal and has begun to replace what now seem like past times such as building snowmen or going for a bike ride. 

The argument can be made that the popularity of television is here to stay, but I disagree. Once our lives are back to pre-pandemic ways, I believe that the amount of time spent inside and alone will drastically decrease. 

Only time can tell what the future holds for us, whether that be the continuation of our obsession with binging new shows or going back to our pre-pandemic social ways. Regardless of what happens, television will always hold a dear spot in our hearts for getting us through some hectic times.