Media Disconnection: Are We Close To Real Slowdown?

The media saturation tipping point may be upon us. Now we see some consumers wanting to “disconnect” -- from TV, their mobile devices and anything else electronic.

Horizon Media’s consumer insights unit, the WHY Group, says in the last six months there has been a push among many to shut down their devices -- to have real, non-digital experiences, according to a recent Adweekreport.

Part of the trend: adult getaway non-digital camps. One can guess these cater to older U.S. media users -- who can afford such leisure entertainment. But the bigger question comes about the future behavior of younger media users. Are they looking to disconnect -- in any way?

Taking a vacation from the media isn’t new. As far back as the 1960s, community leaders, including religious leaders, called for long periods of TV abstinence.  Many believed TV entertainment contributed to laziness or worse behaviors -- and this when there were only three broadcast networks.



TV abstinence efforts back then didn’t prove to gain any groundswell. Instead, in the following years, many of those who worried about too-adult TV shows' influence on young viewers, for example, looked to change TV -- with efforts to push so-called “family-friendly” programming.

This gave way to cable networks skewing programming channels just for kids, to older-skewing networks of family-friendly programming, and to straight-ahead religious TV networks.

There is plenty of variety for everyone now: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the costly. You don’t need to turn off -- just fire up another new app, with ad blocking.

Still, some new-media companies may be hitting saturation points.

Many analysts believe Netflix is already reaching this when it comes to the number of U.S subscribers --- around 43 million. Much of its future growth will come overseas, says analysts.  

Does this mean the next step will be disconnection? Perhaps just a slowdown, or maybe just more short-term disconnection vacations?  

No matter. I’m putting up my backyard umbrella, flopping in the chaise lounge, turning off my mobile phone, and smiling at the live video drone flying above me.

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