Is TV really like water, food, sex? A Missed Learning Opportunity

I’m absolutely astonished that our national leaders are contemplating an extension of the TV-signal switch-date from analog to digital.

See the AP article on how Obama has asked Congress to extend the deadline. Or this NY Times article explaining the thinking.

First, let me say that I live in an analog-only TV house that doesn’t have a convertor box. We’ve been thinking of buying a new TV, but we’re also thinking maybe the price of TV’s will come down after the switch, especially as the economy deteriorates (in which case we might rather have the money for food). Actually, our neighbor just offered us his convertor box, so we’ll probably use that.

HOWEVER, what’s astonishing is that people are acting like TV is an essential commodity, more like water and food (okay maybe not like sex), than like the optional accessory it really should be.

Here’s my counter-proposal. A national month of TV blackout for everyone (analog, digital, networked, etc.). Complete with opportunities for learning, sharing, exercising, perhaps a national dialogue on key issues, and hey, what about reading.

Can we get back to reality?