The loss of socialisation in the family

Posted on April 23, 2017


I was reading an article in the Business Insider regarding the average hours of TV watched in the USA, see big chart below, split by regular and mobile TV.  The data was from Nielsen via statista (I love Statista,  there I’ve said it ;)
There are a couple of things worth noting,  beyond the article’s thoughts.
Firstly that this is the likely explanation for the ever increasing data usage.  For example here in the UK,  three have declared that their average user consumes 6.4Gb of mobile data per month. Several hours of TV will do that.
3 data usage 2016
And yes I realise that’s two different countries,  but hey I’m sticking with it.
More importantly, perhaps, this TV data shows that people are consuming TV on their PCs and mobiles.
Normally that means they are having an individual experience,  with just them selves watching. In particular for Mobile,  perhaps less so for PCs.  However I suspect the vast majority of these hours, shown below in red, are spent in a solitary state.  Either alone in a room,  or with headphones on completely ignoring the world around them.
Whereas old fashioned TV is a shared, dare I say it social activity,  where a group can watch together.  I suspect part of the skew to TV for older folks is not just that they are more used to TV,  but also that they are more likely to be in a relationship, and therefore wanting to spend time with their other half. Amusingly I remember, back in the 70’s (yes we had electricity and TVs back then) the discussion was how TV was killing social gatherings, because rather than go down the pub and be with friends and neighbours people we at home watching TV.  Now we are dividing up from neighbourhoods in the pub(s) through families in the front room, to individuals on their own.
So for me the chart is showing that when we “settle down” TV is an important source of entertainment,  and that more and more it is becoming individualised,  less fighting over the remote control, less bickering over which show to watch.
TV hours 2016
Last point, to consider, is that the TV watched on mobiles is far more likely to be many, perhaps hundreds of small short clips rather than 30 or 60 min shows. Quite a different way of being entertained and subject for another day.
Posted in: life, mobile, TV