Lon-ninear programming and the time/space disconnect

When I was young, we only had three TV channels: ARD, ZDF and a regional station. At certain times, I would watch TV with grandfather. Beloved shows like Bonanza, Kojak or Laural and Hardy.


At others, the whole family would watch: The 8pm news cast, or the 8.15 pm crime show “Tatort”.




Present day hipsters live in a world where everyone gets his media through non-linear channels, like iTunes, Amazon Prime, or a torrent stream. Missing the “electronic chimney” feeling of their youth, they meet in bars to jointly watch “Tatort” again. It’s an odd ritual to observe, as “Tatort” is a format for the elderly. They also form a band of brothers, a virtual family. It would be great to be in such a group as an observer, to see how much deviation the group accepts in terms of age, dress code, hair cuts and sexual orientation. Would a Transvestite be welcomed? A gypsie? An orthodox jew?



Everyone consumes today his media whenever it’s convenient. People sit alone, or in a small group, and watch their favorite shows alone, consuming them rapidly, binge watching whole seasons.

Media formats of all sorts will go non-linear: every movie, every show, every news cast. The only format which will remain linear is sports: live sportcasts.

I find this sad, because I am old, and also because watching together at pre-defined times structured the day. It also made the time pass more slowly. With certain fixed dates in a day (eg 6pm Bonanza, 8pm news cast), there was some time in between not reserved for TV, but for a joint meal, helping in the kitchen, playing cards.

That’s all gone now.



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