The Social Television?



I quit watching television six years ago and replaced it with social media. Life's more different than you may think.

Six years ago next month I sold my house in the suburbs and moved to the top of a high rise into a swanky bachelor pad overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Newly single, I decorated the apartment best I could, painted an accent wall with burgundy and cherry stripes, collected dark leather furniture with darker wood and silver accents. It wasn't as much swanky as it was divorce nouveau. English Country meets "I'll take the couch if you don't want it or the dining room table."

When it was all finished, I kicked back on my new, "they-told-me-it was-leather" couch, put my feet up on the coffee table (because now I was allowed to) and looked at the bare spot on the wall. I had left the prime spot for what I planned to be would be the home of my first flat screen television. But as I looked out over the ocean, then back to the wall, it hit me. If I put a TV in here, I would never leave the place. I would never meet anyone, because well "social" and "media" were just two words that did not go together.

Flash forward six years later and social media is omnipresent, the concept of socializing through technology is the norm, and I still do not own a flat screen or any television for that matter. And no, I don't watch cable on my laptop either. Aside for time in the gym or background noise in a bar, it's gone. Quite a departure for someone who watched on average 6 hours of television a day. But I don't miss it.

Today, my social life relies upon social media. Facebook, Twitter, texts, emails; mine is a micro digital life. But more than that, I found myself with social media is a major part of how I make my living. You could make the argument that all I did was swap of technology addictions, replacing television with social media. But I like to think that I upgraded my technology by making it personal. I'd rather have more of the human contact but when that's not possible at least I'm using technology to interact with another human rather than a one-way broadcast into my living room.

I'm sure I'll get another television soon. In fact, if I was decorating that apartment today I can't help but wonder how much opinions on Facebook, Twitter offers, Amazon reviews or Pinterest clips would be playing into my decision?

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