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The future of TV from inside a teenage bedroom

Rayana Godfrey Jan 12, 2012

Kai Ryssdal: We’ve been talking about the future this week. The future of television, to be precise, and what the TVs of tomorrow that’re being rolled out at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week are going to mean for what we’ll be watching.

Today, the television viewer of the future. Youth Radio’s Rayana Godfrey brings us the story.

Rayana Godfrey: I am laying in my room. You know, this is basically my dojo, my sanctuary, my place to go. TV’s on. Computer’s on. I’m on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr all at one time.

I always have my TV on in the background, but when it’s not entertaining enough, I get on YouTube.

Godfrey: Let’s see what I can find on YouTube.


Godfrey: Yeah this is a whole episode.

“Regular Show” clip: Ah-hah-hah. You know who else likes to clean up other people’s messes? My mom!

That’s one of my favorite TV shows, a series on Cartoon Network called “Regular Show.” I watch it on TV when I can. But if I miss it, I can always count on YouTube to have an episode. And online, there are no commercials.

Another one of my favorite shows is “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” and it’s not even possible to watch it on TV. Episodes are only online, and they’re great.

“The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” clip: Fixated intimacy delusion is quite common with women, and various species of penguins. But penguins don’t even fly. It’s still pretty normal!

Issa Rae, the creator and star, raised the money to produce the show from donations on the website Kickstarter. If I couldn’t watch shows on my computer, I’d be so bored. But right down the hall, my granny is content with just the basics.

Godfrey: Granny, do you watch a lot of TV?

Granny: Yes, I do.

Godfrey: How much TV do you watch?

Granny: Too much.

Godfrey: What are your favorite things to watch?

Granny: “X Factor,” game shows, “Law & Order.” I watch everything that come on TV.

Godfrey: And do you just watch your regular TV? Do you do Netflix or anything?

Granny: No, I don’t do Netflix. I don’t do anything I have to pay extra money for.

Godfrey: Mmm, so you’re keeping it traditional.

Granny: Yes, I am.

My granny and I are pretty different when it comes to TV. She can sit through endless commercials. Not me, I skip channels until all the commercials are over. My granny has always been loyal to just watching regular television, I mean really regular. She cancelled our subscriptions to HBO & Starz and refuses to watch Netflix, even though we have it in the house.

But my mom is a different story.

Godfrey: Hey mama.

Mom: Hey Rayana.

She’s the one who told me about “Awkward Black Girl.” She even watches TV on her iPhone while we are out and about — something I don’t do yet.

Godfrey: Ok, so you watch Netflix on your phone?

Mom: Yes.

Godfrey: So, you know I don’t do that, right?

Mom: Right. You’re bootsie.

Godfrey: What does bootsie mean?

Mom: Not cool.

Godfrey: So you’re cooler than me?

Mom: Yes, I am.

Godfrey: I look up to you, mom.

Mom: You should.

Godfrey: Thank you.

Mom: I love you, bye.

And if not-so-young moms are hip to online television, shouldn’t that be a clue that viewing habits are most certainly on the move?

In Vallejo, Calif., I’m Rayana Godfrey for Marketplace.

Ryssdal: That story was produced by Youth Radio.

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