For the average U.S. citizen, the relative value of the humble TV set has been dropping. Seems dealing with wet clothes is rated more important.
There's a bunch of stuff way ahead of TV in the needed products list-- such as a car, which 86% consider the No. 1 necessity, according to a recent Pew Research report. Only 42% consider TV necessary -- down 10 percentage points from a year ago, putting TV in eighth place.
More mundane consumer products continue to be ranked more important, such as those than dry one's washed clothes. That's right: The clothes dryer ranks as more needed than the TV set! (Interestingly, a clothes washer doesn't even make the top list).
What does this say? That dry clothes are better than dirty, smelly ones, and - even more important -- that dry clothes are better than dirty, smelly TV characters. We can only hope the poor washer might be included next year, just so we can say a glass window filled with rotating suds is a better screen to watch.
All this must be why television's gravitational pull is sinking. Weigh anchor!
And -- before all you Webheads get your knickers in a twist -- the new research also shows that the necessity of Internet/broadband service is below that of owning a TV set -- ranked at ninth place and chosen as necessary by 34% of consumers.
Owing to perhaps the economic uncertainty of the last year and half, only three categories improved year to year in terms of consumer product need, according to the report. The good news? Two of them are in the entertainment field -- Internet service and flat-screen TVs (rising 3% sand 2%, respectively.)
But the biggest necessity that improved year to year may have to do with our physical environment -- global warming. Home air conditioning arrived as the fourth most-needed consumer product, growing 1% to being chosen as necessary by 55% of consumers.
TV, which exists in more of a virtual environment, remains a cool medium after all.