Week 5 – Jesse

With the introduction of Honeycrisp, Inc.’s new product, which allows for viewers to let the television make an informed decision on what they might find most appealing, through a mix of body language and vital signs, we may see this outlet of the media take a giant step upward in popularity. However, is giving people exactly what they want truly a good thing? When a person sits down in front of the tube, they will not even have to sift through any sort of program guide, as this novel feature will deliver instantly onto their screens a show which fits specifically into their mindsets, catering to any sort of political or social views they might have. And while this may be a fast, easy alternative to the latter version of clicking through programs, it may also take away the ability to form different opinions than one previously might have had, and at the very least, not subject viewers to new material through which they could have learned something. If you are a bleeding heart liberal, and Honeycrisp senses this and always turns the channel to shows with similar viewpoints, will you not be taking away from yourself the opportunity to hear a different stance on old information, or another persons take on events, which, although it may go against your previous opinions, hold some truth that you could then use to further your knowledge on the subject? We sometimes find ourselves living in a sort of fishbowl of information within a community, or even a whole society, and the media is supposed to provide a lens through which we can get a clearer picture of what is really happening, without the same biases we may have become accustomed to. My point is that we might not always know what we want exactly, or need, and with this machine we will only continue to revisit that which is familiar to us. On top of that, I think even the most conservative among us would blanche at the thought of having a machine that can read our brains to figure out what we want, and then broadcast it back to a television network. What might happen if another corporation got ahold of this sort of technology, and what might they try to do with it? And while I’m no die hard skeptic, it almost begs the question of what our own government might do with this technology, especially after one hears about the Snowden incident?

As for the issue of what this might do to the television industry, I would think that it will greatly increase its reach and distribution. Honeycrisp will only continue to grow from here, and we should also expect to see new shows popping up all over the place, hoping to capitalize on their success and get a piece of the action as well. They will most likely be very focused on certain subjects, probably the most controversial issues of the day, which will be first and foremost in everyone’s minds when they sit down at night and turn on the television. That should be a given, coupled with more of the fluff programs that don’t require too much thought at all to enjoy. One might also anticipate a decline in shows that are geared towards smaller, more unconventional tastes, as they will soon fall behind in viewership ratings as more and more people give up their ability to scroll aimlessly through channels, and are therefore much less likely to happen upon shows such as those. In my mind it is a very similar situation as the ones that towns often find themselves in when Walmart opens a branch nearby. Small, community run stores with a less broad spectrum of merchandise are put out of business, while this large chain steals all their business, and people are forced to find new jobs there; The Walmart being the very popular shows, with subject matter that ranges over a wide view of the topic, and the smaller stores being those aforementioned shows that cater to a more unique audience. Overall, if Honeycrisp is successful in their attempts to bring one of their products into every household, I am certain that we can expect a general decline in televisions content and viewership, a decline that promises to be extremely detrimental to customers and skeptics alike.