The Internet Killed Television

The method of recording (media) changes continuously. In fact, as soon as a new medium is fully realised, development starts on its successor. In terms of listening to music at home, first came radio, followed by records, then there were cassette tapes (mainly used for listening to music in the car), which were followed by CDs (compact discs) and now digital music files such as .mp3’s are becoming the traditional medium for music, putting the high street music stores out of business because people are buying CD’s less and less.

Unlike TV, the internet is not restricted by physicalities. The internet has replaced tv as an entertainment source, but unlike TV, the internet is not just something people want, but something they need because it infiltrates every corner of our lives, from work to play.  The internet was surprisingly in development as early as the 1960’s but only became available in the home in 1995 and is now our traditional media.

“There has never been a time when mastering the sum of human knowledge has not been felt to be an impossible task”, in fact we have always wanted to know more, and we have always sought to record it.

Books started being printed in the 16th Century, philosophers such as Rene Descartes complained there were too many books to read and not enough time. In 1689, a professor at the University of Hamburg invented a cabinet designed to organise thousands of hand-written notes taken by an individual reader from the books they were reading, effectively condensing information relevant to the individual. In 1998 Google was born, a website (known as a search engine) allowing the user to search for information using keywords. Now if anyone should need to know something, others tell them to “Google it”.

The Internet is our traditional media, our TV, our Library.


Peter Hirshberg on TV and the Web

Information Overload, Lisa Jardine

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