TV will change the world
10 Nov, 2009 - Alissa Wilkinson
From Foreign Policy: Why TV, not Facebook or Twitter, is going to revolutionize the world.
Indeed, television, that 1920s technology so many of us take for granted, is still coming to tens of millions with a transformative power — for the good — that the world is only now coming to understand. The potential scope of this transformation is enormous: By 2007, there was more than one television set for every four people on the planet, and 1.1 billion households had one. Another 150 million-plus households will be tuned in by 2013.
In our collective enthusiasm for whiz-bang new social-networking tools like Twitter and Facebook, the implications of this next television age — from lower birthrates among poor women to decreased corruption to higher school enrollment rates — have largely gone overlooked despite their much more sweeping impact. And it’s not earnest educational programming that’s reshaping the world on all those TV sets. The programs that so many dismiss as junk — from song-and-dance shows to Desperate Housewives — are being eagerly consumed by poor people everywhere who are just now getting access to television for the first time. That’s a powerful force for spreading glitz and drama — but also social change.