I remember spending hours of my childhood, if not entire days, watching tv. Kids from this generation will never know how we used to watch movies back then. VHS cassette player? Does it sound familiar? Give that to a teenager today and he will think it’s a microwave.
But as times change, people change. When the first DVD player went out, most of my playdates were watching movies on the TV of my living room. Sometimes, I even had breakfast, lunch and dinner while watching shows like Friends and Two and a Half Men. For me, TV was crucial, as for many college students from my generation. However, those times went far behind us when smartphones and laptops came along the road.
There are two very influential factors that explain why college students are not into TV and cable as much as before, and that is because of money and practical devices. Allow me to elaborate:
College students are known as “the struggle” generation. The reason is simply because for us, everything is a struggle. The rent is a struggle, tuition is a struggle, finals are definitely a struggle, and our entire lives revolve into making it through college. Our biggest concern is money, or the lack of. Let’s face it, most of us have about 30 dollars in our bank account to make it until the end of the month. With that kind of economy, how are we supposed to, on top of everything, pay for cable to watch TV daily?
According to a CNN article published this year, “Cable Prices Are Rising at 4 Times the Rate of Inflation” (very self-explanatory), you could spend an average of just below 100 dollars on your regular TV cable package. How does that fit with a student’s income? Hint: It doesn’t.
Now, luckily for us, not everything is lost. About nine years ago, Netflix and Hulu (Two very popular networks streaming movies and tv shows) took over the millennial world. We rather pay $7.99 a month (or borrow our friend’s account), than $100 on regular cable.
“I use Netflix mostly, but I’ve recently started using Hulu because is the only place that has shows with new episodes. Netflix is usually a season or two behind”, says Jillian Seltzer, journalism major from The University of North Texas (UNT).
I, personally, am more a Hulu kind of person. But I occasionally use Netflix for specific shows I like. It fits any college student’s budget, and not only that, but you can also control what you watch and when you watch it.
“With Netflix you can watch it anytime, like it caters to you, and there aren’t any ads.” says Cami Lyon, an Advertising major at UNT, “With cable you mostly can only watch something at a specific time and every ten minutes there is a long commercial break.”
Now, why is TV becoming obsolete when you can watch Netflix and Hulu in it? Because millennials simply prefer smaller and portable screens. Everything can be put on your purse and used anywhere. You can watch Netflix on your phone before class, or even watch Hulu on your laptop in the comfort of your bed.
It’s simple and practical. I asked many of my classmates where did they watch their favorite shows. And almost all of them answered: their laptops.
College students will always want the easiest and affordable choice, as I said; it’s part of the “struggle generation”. We are also better at adapting to new methods of entertainment than the generations before ours. Technology will always evolve into something better, and we will evolve with it. And this “struggle” generation will continually be on the lookout for companies that give us entertainment, wherever and whenever we want, at a price we can at least consider paying.
This article was written by Oriana Valderrama, Journalist student at the University of North Texas