Is Facebook Really Killing TV?

March 8th, 2009 | Posted in Entertainment, file sharing, Internet, Opinion, Recreation, Technology | 8 Comments

I saw something on slashdot recently called Why TV Lost that talks about the effect that computers and the Internet are having on TV.

What I found odd is that it talks about TV as if computers and video sharing & such have already killed TV.  Like we should all just pack it in and put our TV’s in storage and use the old tv mount as a place to put a pot of begonias or something.

The article based this on four points:

1. The Internet’s open platform fosters innovation at hacker speeds instead of big company speeds.

This is certainly true.  The number of people working on projects, both cooperatively and individually can be truly staggering, not to mention nearly impossible to actually know for certain.  This leads to a lot of innovation happening quickly.  As soon as something new comes out, dozens, or even thousands of people are studying it, taking it apart and figuring out new things to do with it.

2. Moore’s Law worked its magic on Internet bandwidth.

Moore’s Law refers to the doubling of the capacity of electronic components every two years or so.  It’s one of the reasons that we’re not all still sitting here working on TRS-80’s and that computer equipment today can process tons more information hundreds of times faster than back in the beginning.

3. Piracy taught a new generation of users it’s more convenient to watch shows on a computer screen.

That’s certainly true.  Piracy, and more specifically the p2p file sharing technology that I think had at least some of it’s origins in piracy have made the wide scale sharing of all kinds of media very commonplace and very nearly impossible to stop or prevent.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that a growing number of people watch more video per day on their computers than they do on their televisions.

4. Social applications made everybody from grandmas to 14-year-old girls want computers

Social networks like Facebook, MySpace and dozens (if not hundreds) of others have made it possible for people to connect with others on an unprecedented scale.  This of course leads to more sharing of media from family photos and home movies to the sky’s the limit.

Which I suppose is why they concluded with the summation:

Facebook killed TV

The thing is, I don’t think that we should count TV out just yet.  I’ll admit that I’ve watched my share of video online but when it comes down to “dinner and a movie”, nobody’s gonna cuddle up in front of a computer monitor when there’s a 27 inch (or bigger!) Tv in the other room with much more comfortable seating, surround sound, and so on.

[Tags]Internet Bandwidth, Social Applications, Sharing Technology, Tv, Unprecedented Scale, Open Platform, file sharing, p2p, Home Movies, Social Networks, Family Photos, Myspace, Electronic Components, Computer Screen[/tags]

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8 Responses to “Is Facebook Really Killing TV?”


  1. No , I don;t think so . Both have different importance . EveryBody don’t like facebook and I would prefer a tv to watch with my family rather than my computer


  2. Agreed.  “Dinner and a movie” needs the 27inch in the living room, not a monitor in my office


  3. Completely agree, imagine throwing a super bowl party and everyone huddled around the computer.


  4. I am one of the last people not to use facebook or myspace, personally I would rather live in my bubble with my tv then talk with people in cyberspace.


  5. Both have there place. Lets face it unless you have a 30″ computer monitor you’re not going to want to watch the latest hollywood block buster on your PC.


  6. That’s really the heart of it isn’t it?  Aside from screen size, I think it’s safe to say that most computer setups don’t have the kind of seating arrangement that’s going to be comfortable for watching movies.  It’s too close to the screen and let’s face it, computer setups (especially desktops), are geared for getting stuff done, not kicking back and watching a movie.


  7. My systems is already hooked up to the big tv in the lounge. If I could get the same size screen at the same price as the tv then I wouldn’t bother with a tv, I know cheap skate(colour TV Licence £142.50pa). To be honest I don’t watch much broadcasted tv anyway, it’s all pretty crap and repeated.

    I think you are forgetting about the new media systems around not some clunky old tower with a normal sized lcd, its just a matter of cost at the momment.


  8. I guess I’m living in the dinosaur age using a desktop tower and a 17inch monitor (NOT an lcd).

    I agree about most of broadcast tv not being worth watching, though I do want to be able to check in on my (only) local station to get local weather reports & such.