I grew up watching television, just like everyone else. I’ve always thought of each channel in terms of its own personality or spirit, so to speak. When a station that was once young and vibrant gets strung out on pop rock candy, for example, I see it has an entity that has lost its way, not just a channel that has.
Social networking is about to start replacing television stations. Not all of them, of course, but many stations will lose regular viewers to people who are spending more and more time fiddling about on social networks like MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, etc. After all, most of the programming is becoming harder to watch, the commercials are forever getting longer and longer, and the majority of television just doesn’t entertain certain people anymore.
As these sites get bigger and as their interfaces get better, their popularity increases dramatically. Just look at what Second Life is doing right now. When the site is user-friendly enough that you don’t have to be a geek to use and enjoy it, the masses will start flocking to the site. And when the masses flock to a site, that means they’re spending less time watching television.
Even if this isn’t the case, which is entirely possible, it’s undeniable that social networks are quickly becoming the preferred form of entertainment for millions of people.