The Internet Has Changed Our Viewing Habits

If, like me, you’re one of those whose work is based online, much of the information that you come across on a daily basis comes from the internet. Watching television is no longer a necessity as multiple sites online give you access to what’s currently happening not just in our little corner of the globe, but even in outer space.

A week or two ago, there was this news item about a city mayor from the south who tried to prevent a violent demolition of squatter houses. The mayor ended up repeatedly punching a lower ranking city official who only wanted to carry out the orders of the judge to proceed with the demolition. All the action happened in full view of television news crews.

Even if I wasn’t able to watch the news programs on TV that carried the story, I read about the story in the breaking news section of some local news organization’s online edition. A video link was provided, so I watched the news coverage in my own time, not at the time of the TV newscast. That’s content on demand, to be accessed when I want it.

In contrast to content on demand or video on demand, live streaming is a technological breakthrough that lets you view events in real time.

Late one night as I was going to log off from my internet connection, my Twitter feed showed a link to the Atlantis shuttle lift off that will happen in 5 minutes. Great timing! Had I not read my feed at that exact moment, I would have known about that piece of news only on the following day as I read my Yahoo RSS feed that includes the day’s headlines.

After hurriedly sending a short tweet of thanks to the person who gave the link, I just clicked on that link and, together with millions of others in front of their computer or TV screens, silently watched in awe as another team of astronauts blasted off into space.

I should note that the video shown was in High Definition, so you can just imagine the clear picture quality and rich colors that can be seen on the screen.

Of course, the video was recorded. So anytime that I want to, I can do a search for the video link and watch it again.

Being readily available worldwide, internet broadcasts have the added advantage of reaching more viewers, not just the local TV audience. And that means more participants in discussions of issues and more points of view being brought forward.

Below, in a live streaming (courtesy of ABS-CBN news) of the Senate investigation on the PCSO issue, instead of listening to the annoying pleas of different officials asking to be excused from the investigation because of some illness, you can mute the volume and just read from the Twitter feed the important points raised during the proceedings. (Oh wait, yes, you can also do that on TV.)

Gone now are the days that one will have to fight to get a chance to watch a TV show, because another person is already watching a different show in another channel. Now, with the internet, you can watch a TV show whenever you want to.

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