I used to spend a lot of time watching TV. There were certain shows I couldn’t miss. I had to get home in time to see them. Then I picked up a little motto from a song by The Lemonheads called ‘The Outdoor Type’:
“I can’t go away with you on a rock-climbing weekend;
what if something’s on TV and it’s never shown again?
It’s just as well I’m not invited; I’m afraid of heights.
I lied about being the outdoor type…”
I realised that everything will be available one day, so why bother catching it the first time it is on. Before iTunes and DRM, I thought that there were going to be so many channels that all TV will need to be repeated many times to fill up all those schedules. Now I can see that all TV will be available to me online.
My VHS player broke four or five years ago, and I never got around to fixing it. I learned do without timeshifting and archiving films and TV shows. I recently got a hard-disc-based digital recorder. I can pause TV, record two channels at once, record whole series of favourite shows.
Now it is a lot easier to be polite. When my flatmate wants to catch up or have a meal with me, she doesn’t want our conversation interrupted by the TV. Now that I don’t need to miss anything, I can stop watching TV and chat for as long as I want. My old priorities weren’t right, this new box has made it a lot easier to do the right thing.