I like the television show Blue Bloods, starring Tom Selleck, which I think makes me old.
The show airs at 9 p.m. Central time on Friday. If I watch it at the appointed time, then I’m necessarily at home.
On a Friday night.
And then there’s the content.
The show centers around a New York family full of cops, where the good guys almost always win and the bad guys usually go to jail. Like the long-running series Law & Order, Blue Bloods often pulls stories from the headlines.
Unlike reality, on the show things work out for the best. After spending my week reading way too much about current events, I like the escapism. Again, I’m feeling old.
There is one part of the show that I detest. Advertisements.
Like every other primetime show, it’s packed with ads, which cut down the show’s run time dramatically.
But there’s a reason for the ads. Someone’s got to pay Tom Selleck, along with the rest of the cast and the team it takes to put together a show, and then bear the cost of distribution.
Television producers, actors, and studios are not altruistic organizations. They don’t give stuff away. They must be paid.
In this relationship, as the viewer, I am the product. The television network attracts me with the show, and then sells me, or rather my attention, to advertisers.
In almost every instance, if you think you’re getting something for free, you are the product.
If I don’t like that, I can choose not to watch, or even watch in a different format… which I’ve already done. I occasionally watch Blue Bloods on Netflix, where each episode runs 42 minutes. But I must pay for my Netflix subscription. In this relationship, the content is the product.
Which brings me to Facebook…
The social media company provides a platform where I can post everything about my life that no one ever wanted to know, connect with people from my past that I detest, and “like” posts from other people even when I am completely ignorant of the subject matter.