I have recently been fascinated by the culture of the internet, cable TV, millennials, and how different generations consume media. I have been soaking up every article I see about the millennial generation, talking to my peers, talking to those a few years older than myself, and people many years older than myself. I have come to learn 3 things I’d like to share, in 3 separate posts.
1) How Different Generations Talk about Media
2) How Different Generations Consume Media
3) Multi-Screen Consumption of Media
#1 The Meaning of the Term “Cable”
I recently decided that before my 1-year “deal” from Comcast goes into it’s second year and I start getting charged out the you-know-what for my Cable TV and Internet, that I would cut the Cable TV because, let’s face it, I rarely watch it. I spend most of my time on the internet, watching Netflix, Hulu, or just browsing the web. As I was discussing this with my dad (a baby boomer) he said “Well how will you get Internet access if you get rid of Cable?”
…What? What is he talking about? “I’m not getting rid of the Internet–just cable”
His response “but cable is the internet!”
…What? No it’s not. Fool.
Millennials have grown up in a world where you flip open your laptop and connect to the strongest Wifi signal. We don’t use a hard-wire, we don’t even really think about what it takes for the router to be plugged into a cable connection to give us the magic of Wifi. It’s just there, and we love it.
Don’t get me wrong, I remember the days when you had to hang up the phone to get online, the days where my computer was enormous and only had 3MB of storage on the hard-drive. But once something becomes convenient, there’s no turning back. My dad recalled a story in which my sister (an engineer) was moving into a new condo and, her first day there, opened up her laptop and wondered “Which network do I connect to?”
Dad’s response: “Did you buy Internet?”
Believe me, ask any millennial, “What is cable?”
Not a single one will give you an answer that has to do with the internet. They will all say “Cable is TV. It gives you channels like ESPN and Nickelodeon.” We don’t think about the technical aspects of it anymore because it’s just always there for us.
What do you think of when you hear the term “cable”? And what generation are you from?