Are you part of “the antenna culture?”

Younger folks love to discover older things and appropriate them as if they had never been seen before. In that vein, there’s a term out there I’ve been hearing from several of the younger folks I talk to.  I’ve started hearing them talk about “the antenna culture” as a new way of experiencing video entertainment much the same way they listen to “vinyls” now.

It’s something like this:

Turn your phone off. Walk into a room, turn the TV on manually. Set the channel you want to watch and … watch it. Live. Since you can’t actually work most consumer electronics without a remote, use it when you have to, but put it on the TV so you have to get up to change the channel or turn up the volume. Even better, set the channel and volume the way you want it to be, and leave it there.

Then, enjoy a blissful hour of focusing on whatever is in front of you, no matter how much you want to do something else. Don’t text, tweet, don’t look up the actor you just saw on IMDB. Don’t search to see how cheap you can get the outfit you just saw in the commercial. In other words, watch TV the way your parents did, the way maybe you did if you’re old enough to remember life without VCRs.

Folks are learning to do this now

The extreme outer fringe of this group only depends on what’s over the air, but realistically most folks in “the antenna culture” choose whatever they want to watch from their live choices.

You know, it’s an excellent fit for the world we’re living in now. Sit back and relax. Let the television come to you instead of aggressively pursuing every little bit of information. If you’re watching something besides the news, it works even better. If you don’t believe me, try it.

I guess I’m part of the antenna culture

I didn’t know that I was part of “the antenna culture” until I was traveling a while back and someone used that term. Back then I was talking about how I de-stress while in a hotel room by watching live TV and putting all the electronics on the desk. It’s surprisingly effective, and forces you into considering a lot more about the program you’re watching. If it’s a news program, you can get drawn in by body language and tone of voice, but be careful to choose a program without too many distracting graphics to feed your need for attention. Just sit back and relax. A lot of hotels carry BBC World or CNBC, this is perfect for this. You may not be thinking about hotels now, but you might be in the future, so keep this article in mind.

Self-care is a good thing

Yes, it’s a little funny to know that you could be ten times as productive if you wanted to be, but is paying 10% attention to ten things really being ten times more productive? Some things are really only achievable with a state of deep focus that we seem never to have time for anymore. When you put yourself in a state where one thing, happening live and happening once, gets your full attention, you find there’s so much more you can learn from the moment in front of you.

At least, it will help you get over the nervous twitches. You know the ones I mean. They’re the ones telling you to text someone, play games, or check your office emails. All these things are important to some degree. What’s more important sometimes is sitting back and just understanding the world as it unfolds. That’s a sort of Zen way of looking at things. It’s really kind of funny, really. You get there by watching television the way people watched in the past. You get there by watching “at the speed of life.”

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About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.