. The Transom .

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Are you as dumb as your kid?

Bolt Media recently released a study citing that 75% of 12- to 34-year-olds couldn't name the four major TV networks: NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX. Before you throw your arms up and say the country will soon be run by moronic, uneducated slackers, I have just one thought - so what?

Step back and look at who was studied - 12- to 34-year-olds. Does anyone actually think they spend their time watching mainstream television? No, they're online on myspace.com or searching the Net for clues on Lost. They don't care what network it's on. And why should they?

Fifty years ago... hell, twenty years ago, 85% of TV viewing people watched the networks because there weren't real alternatives. You got your news from Dan Rather or Peter Jennings and you watched M*A*S*H* or Cheers and that was about it. Today kids have (and by kids I mean anyone under 35) the Web, a zillion highly targeted cable channels, iPods, blogs, etc. I would like to see a similar study of 35- to 55-year-olds to see how many could name four bloggers or even define what a blog is. Maybe we could ask them if they've heard of myspace.com or facebook.com.

My point is simply to take these kinds of studies with a grain of salt. Kids today aren't stupid just because they can't name the networks. They don't watch one or two stations like most 50+ 'ers do. They hit 40 different cable channels, 100 Web sites and post on countless blogs. Let's cut them some slack.


  • Hey Rob, this is probably why broadband companies are heading into a merger with networks. Example: AOL offering TV shows online or HBO offering mini-shows available only online. Pretty soon they will all run together.

    By Anonymous Dave, at Tuesday, May 16, 2006 2:47:00 PM  

  • Dave, an excellent point. I think we'll see a trend of companies like AOL offering 'TV shows' exclusively online. Some shows, like 'The Office' have a large web following and it's helped their viewership numbers. No reason it can't go the other way as well. Great observation!

    By Blogger Rob Amberg, at Tuesday, May 16, 2006 3:23:00 PM  

  • You just flat have it wrong man. Perhaps you could list a number of excuses for your age group not knowing the VP's name as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, May 17, 2006 6:41:00 AM  

  • I'm not going to debate you on whether it's important for everyone to know their leadership. I think it's quite sad that there are people who don't know Dick. However, it's all about what is relevant. An example: when you were growing up (I'm assuming your age because you assumed mine), you could probably name all four Beatles. Your parents, however, probably thought they were just a loud rock band and didn't know Lennon from Lenin. Even though they were known by one age group worldwide and the hottest band of their day, it didn't matter to your folks. Same point here. When these 'idiots' grow up and realize that it's important to be educated, they will know Dick from Ringo.

    (by the way, when Cheney finds a way to relate to someone who is under 40 and makes less than $900,000 per year, you let me know. The closest thing he's done so far is nearly blow the head off a friend while drinking... I mean hunting.)

    By Blogger Rob Amberg, at Thursday, May 18, 2006 1:11:00 PM  

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