Blog 4 – Are Cell Phones, the Internet, and Social Media taking over TV?

The internet and social media have flourished over the last 40 years and exponentially in the past 20 years.

Look at how far we’ve come!

During Expo 1967, I recall visiting a kiosk where they had a landline telephone. When you made a call from the landline, you could see your face reflected on a monitor screen in front of you. I recall thinking to myself we would, in the not-so-distant future, walk around with a portable phone and be able to see the person we were talking to from their phone. Fast forward several decades later, that insight has become a reality.

From Audio to Video

After Alexander Graham Bell discovered the telephone in 1876, research and development into a portable videophone became his focus. Although he had the intuitive idea and insight on how it should function, he never achieved that dream. Others eventually forged ahead with this idea. This notion progressed into the invention of television.  Subsequently, a video conference from a landline phone

Evolution of television 1920-2020

with a video camera combination came about. According to Wikipedia, it would seem that the first portable videophone created by a Japanese company in 1983 came on the market sometime around 1986. This portable videophone could be attached to a television monitor for clearer video reception. For more detailed facts about the advancement of television and telephone (landlines, vehicular, and portable units), check out this great article. Approximately 25 years later, around 2010 facetime, (portable video conferencing) became available.

Black & white television – Pexels by Andre Moura

Fast forward to 2021, we can now watch television programs, movies, documentaries, have two-way or group video chats, send and receive email communication, text messaging all on our smartphones, tablets, and personal computers, instantaneously.

Zoom group call – Pexels by Anna Shvets

How much more can we expect?

We live in an electronic world. Television manufacturers are continuously improving visual and sound quality to make their units more attractive and enticing to consumers. You can purchase ambient televisions that morph into your background wall color, while others are as thin as a credit card or roll out of a cabinet, and some even double-sided. A large screen television gives you the feeling like you could step into it and partake in the program. Television stations and manufacturers have inter-married their products with electronic devices, having all sorts of streaming capabilities. With all of this available technology, people are multi-tasking. We are obsessed with television, all the while scrolling through our portable phones or tablets. We have become enslaved to television, never letting go of the remote, and constantly surfing stations – it is an addiction. We are tech addicts. Television is not going anywhere in the near future.

TV and hand holding remote – Pexels by

What’s your thought on this? Do you think that TV will become a dinosaur and alternately replaced by social media, cell phones, and the internet?


Will the internet replace TV? | Trigger Happy Remote

Why the Internet Is About to Replace TV as the Most Important Source of News – The Atlantic

History of Mobile Cell Phones | The First Phone To Present Time (

History of videotelephony – Wikipedia


Can you foresee TV surviving?

Will TV survive?

12 thoughts on “Blog 4 – Are Cell Phones, the Internet, and Social Media taking over TV?

  1. I enjoyed following the evolution from 1876 to today. Personally I am surprised something like Google Glass hasn’t been more popular. With the things that are possible using augmented reality I expect that to become more common in the future.

  2. I think that TV is going to become a dinosaur because it is easier for us now to watch movies and TV shows on our laptops, tablets or cellphones because we can bring them with us when we are on the bus, in the car and if we are visiting somebody for example. I personally use my TV as a bigger screen for my computer or my tablet to watch movies. I do not have cable or satellite because I prefer to pay for Netflix and Prime and be able to decide when I watch those shows or those movies.
    I really enjoyed watching the Youtube video you included in your post. Since I am young, it was interesting to see how the older models of TV were first designed.

    • I was really pleased with that video too.

      I don’t watch much television myself, except a few movies now and then to help me wind down in the evening. Sometimes, I just like to listen to some of the music stations. I do not keep any electronics in my bedroom.

      For the older generation, TV is their go-to. The younger generation is growing up with electronics so I can see that possibly in another 20-30 years TV might become a dinosaur. As you get on in years though, using technology becomes a challenge. Handling a TV remote can be overwhelming for our aging population. Do your grand-parents fall in the technologically challenged bubble?

      But then again, maybe not. Time will tell.

  3. Diane,
    Very interesting and organized post. I’ve been perplexed in recent years about the fragmentation of the entertainment industry. We used to expect events like sports to be broadcast on a certain number of major networks, but now we’re looking to places like YouTube and Amazon for live broadcasts. Meanwhile, Netflix has taken control over a great deal of broadcasting that used to be the exclusive domain of network television. I am not convinced that the quality has improved in programming in the past generation. I think people are getting used to the convenience of receiving any form of media at any time and on any device, and there’s no going back to the old ways. Television may not be dead, but it could be on the way to becoming a just a niche.

    • It will be interesting to see exactly where things are headed. As I replied to Catthi’s comment above, it might not be so difficult for the younger generation to navigate through the internet and do away with TV. On the other hand, the older generation prefers simplicity. I am just around the corner of falling into that older generation category. I will let you know in another 10-20 years where I stand on the issue.

  4. This was a wonderful blog to read. I liked how you added a video on the evolution of television because it really ties in with your question at the end of the blog. I believe that the tv won’t become a dinosaur but will change even more then it already has.

  5. Thanks. I enjoyed that video also. When I was a child our black and white TV was encased in this huge wooden cabinet. We had to play with the antennas to get a clear picture before we actually had cable TV. For the first 3 years of my married life, we also had a black and white TV that was a hand-me-down because we couldn’t afford a colored one. How times have changed. Have you guessed my age yet? No, I’m not 80 but getting there.

  6. I do not watch much T.V. but I love history, and wikipedia. It is hard to predict the future, mobile devices are easier to use for the younger generations. Under the current circumstances, T.V. live streaming, Netflix, Disney+ channels have offered families entertainment at times when they could not attend a live concert, nor did they have 4 o 5 single devices for each family member entertainment preferences. So, I am thinking, maybe T.V. + mobile devices, depending on geography, age and gender will play an important role.

  7. Great blog! I believe that we are already well underway to this happening. TV was good for:
    -advertising (can be done via social media for cheaper)
    -live news (can be found on social media)
    -TV and movies (can be found on the internet via multiple streaming platforms)
    -live sports (can be found on social media)

    I have Rogers Ignite TV at my house, which is technically TV programming, but it comes in via the internet (no cables). It seems to me this is a tradition that we are already embedded in.

  8. I agree with your comments however, I think TV is here to stay for a little while longer if only to cater to the aging generation. I am in my early 60’s and some of my friends don’t own a cell phone nor have internet. If they live for another 20-30 years then, so will TV at least for baby boomers who are not into technology.

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