April 18, 2012
| by Lisa Montgomery
Remember the days when you had to wait until the scheduled broadcast time to see your favorite show? Sure, you weren’t always able to catch it, but you sure savored it when you could. At my house, my mom made popcorn right beforehand and we all sat in the same room at the same time and watched the same show. My siblings and I learned to be patient while my Dad finished watching 60 Minutes before our Disney movie came on. It’s a skill I still use today when I’m stuck in traffic or at the doctor’s office. Patience is a virtue.
Unfortunately, my kids haven’t acquired this capability; nor do I think they ever will. I’ll blame it a little on technology. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that we can communicate wherever, whenever by cell phone. It sure makes my life easier. And being able to adjust the thermostat and turn on and off the lights, whenever, wherever from an Internet connected smartphone saves money, time and aggravation. And OK, I can’t complain about our Internet-connected Xbox 360 for instant access to content on Netflix. Apparently, I’m not alone in my thinking. According to a study by Leichtman Research Group, Inc. (LGR), an increasing number of consumers are using the service. Sixteen percent of adults use Netflix’s Watch instant feature, compared to 12 percent last year and 4 percent two years ago.
As convenient and empowering as it is to hit that “watch now” button, a part wishes it wasn’t so easy. My teenagers have no concept of what it’s like to wait for something. How to prioritize homework, chores etc. so they don’t miss a favorite show. To plan out their week in anticipation of a movie. Instead, they’ve developed a sense of entitlement that they can access anything they want (within our parental controls, of course) and watch it on the TV, their phone or computer.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.