Tuned In

America Loves TV More, Televisions Less

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Is nothing sacred, America? The Nielsen company reported yesterday that the number of US households with a television actually decreased by over a million last year; this marks the first decline in household TV ownership since 1992 (when figures were corrected to match census data).

Does this mean the nation is rejecting TV? Not the medium, it turns out, though the machine is incrementally less popular. TV viewing itself has increased. This suggests that more people are watching “TV” on non-television devices, and thus that young people are increasingly not even opting to buy televisions once they move on their own.

Despite my own line of work, I understand this. I love watching TV but I’d just as soon not have one; I’ve never loved the idea of having a big metal-and-glass device dominating my living room. My ideal screen would be one that simply materializes on the wall or in the air, then vanishes when I turn it off.

Until Steve Jobs invents one, though, it looks like more people are now opting for computers, tablets, or other screens. Are you one of them? And if so, why are you reading this when you could be watching something?