I had been thinking lately about the sheer array of entertainment options available to all of us in this country, especially when it comes to television. I am not a huge TV watcher, but I do spend some time in front of the tube. There are a few shows that I do keep up with – "Scrubs" (sad to say that this is the last season), "The Office", "30 Rock", "24", and "Mythbusters" are some of the shows that I generally watch on a regular basis, usually via Tivo after my kids are asleep. I try not to let TV interfere with family time, although I am guilty of this sometimes, too.
So, I was thinking about the number of channels that are available these days. I am pretty sure that our system has upwards of 300 stations, although there are some channels that I have never watched for more than a few seconds. There are niche channels for everything now – golf, football, extreme sports, medical mysteries, soap operas, game shows, kids' stations, music, history, you name it.
It struck me yesterday how different things really are from when I was a kid. Often times, friends will ask me, "Have you seen _____? It's a great show." or "That reminds me of _____" and I have no point of reference because I haven't seen the program that they are referring to.
When I was a kid (yes, I know that this statement makes me sound and feel older), there were really just three channels of commercial-laden television to choose from. Well, four if you included PBS, but none of us watched that beyond our "Sesame Street" and "Mr. Rogers" years. I watched "Happy Days", "Laverne and Shirley", "Three's Company", "Fantasy Island", "The Love Boat" and a host of other shows that were exactly the same as what my friends watched. When I was in elementary school, "The Muppet Show" was must-see TV, because if you missed it, you missed out on the conversations with your friends the next day, because they all watched it. I can't believe I just admitted that I was a Love Boat fan.
Now, it's harder to find common ground with my adult friends, since they may be busy watching the extreme golf events, or the knitting championships, or Australian-rules football, rather than nice, safe, mandated TV programs like it used to be.
I was a bit down last night, after I told my kids, "Hey, we can watch 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' together soon!" and I was greeted with a very lackluster response ("We've seen it a million times already."). I realized that things really have changed. When I was their age, I had to be at home at a specific time in order to see this once-a-year event. Now, we have it on DVD and they can see it whenever they want to, so it just isn't as special to them.
When you develop friendships, typically there must be some commonality of experience, which is one reason that I have seen friendships can develop very quickly here on Active Rain. We may not be reading the exact same blogs while we are here, but we can all relate to certain elements – point system, Localism-type writing, who the good writers are, who we steer clear of in general. This type of relationship reminds me of many friendships that I have had at previous jobs years ago. While we were there working together in that environment, our everyday tasks and our exposure to the same set of personalities were similar enough to help us bond. After I left those jobs, trying to go back and visit always made for some stilted and awkward conversations, because I wasn't up on the latest issues and drama. I don't really like drama that much in everyday life, but it's there sometimes.
So, what was the point of this post? Get connected here at Active Rain and you will develop some very fast friendships. STAY connected in order to maintain them. The friendships here come with perks – I have had several referrals already, and I hope that 2008 will bring many more.
Thanks for reading! This post was inspired by a comment yesterday from John MacArthur.