Blame the Internet: Only 38 percent of young Americans see a TV set as a necessity


Would you still consider your TV to be a necessity, or has its functionality largely been replaced by other devices such as your computer? Well, the largest number of Americans since 1973 no longer see television as a necessity. Only 54 percent of Americans think TV is a necessity these days. Not surprisingly, young people are least likely to call TV a necessity.

These numbers come from a recent Pew Research poll. It asked Americans: “Do you pretty much think of this as a necessity or pretty much think of this as a luxury you could do without?” The devices were TV sets; Dishwashers; Microwaves; home air conditioning; and clothes dryer. It’s more or less a “how has the recession affected your perception of certain items?” kind of question.

Only 38 percent of Americans aged 18-29 see TV (that is, a standalone TV set) as a necessity. Presumably these folks are just as comfortable watching TV on their computer, either legally or illegally (I make no judgement either way. Do what you want, I say.), so there’s less of a need for a TV. Older Americans, aged 65 and older, see TV as a necessity to the tune of 68 percent. The NBC Nightly News crowd, no doubt.

Also of note, how Americans view cellphones and landlines. The young are more likely to consider a cellphone as a necessity, while at the same time seeing little need for landlines.

Considering the quality and price of monitors these days, I don’t know why you’d need to own both a big TV and a big computer monitor, especially if [apartment/room] space is at a premium. That’s how I rolled last year: my second monitor was my TV. In fact, here’s a terrible photo showing what my setup was like for a while in my garbage apartment in Queens, NY.


I live a charmed life, yes. (The speaker was there largely for decoration; I always use(d) headphones.)

via Some NY Times blog I’ve never read before