The kids still know from multi

We wrote, so very, very long ago, that everyone who is capable of it watches TV and surfs the Web simultaneously.

So why the hell are people trying to combine the two media into one device? We have good reason to keep them separate. Scores of good reasons. We have as many reasons to keep television and the Web separate as there are TV channels and Web sites.

Or do you want Wal-Mart to be the only store in town?

Anyway, yet another report has emerged heaping further incontrovertible evidence onto the pile. Real people can handle doing two things at once. Middle-aged plutocrat media executives cannot, and they are the problem.

Nearly one-quarter (23%) of online users watch television less often since they began using the Internet. Yet half (50%) of Internet users report that a television is present in the same room as their computer. Nine out of ten (91%) people with a TV in the same room where the Internet is used most often said they watched and surfed simultaneously. Over one-quarter (27%) of adults, age 18–34, surf the Internet and always or often watch TV at the same time. “With limited hours in a day, consumers seek out ways to maximize the value of their time,” said [some self-important executive or other]. “An opportunity exists for broadcast media who choose to offer more frequent programming that makes use of both the online environment as well as their traditional media.”

No, fool, no such “opportunity” exists. People want television and the Web kept separate. It ain’t broke and it don’t need fixing.

Posted on 2001-05-21