This article in the LA Times looks at the shift in TV viewing / consuming habits. The segment below highlights the social shift in a shared common dialogue space that is taking place. Fragmentation and decentralization can provide lots more personal choice and freedom. However, there is the danger of isolation and a divide and conquer.
“Mass media doesn’t exist anymore,” says Paul Saffo, a director at the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, Calif. “Instead we have personal media. Increasingly, people fill their information space with only what they want to see â€” things that reinforce their worldview. Take away channel surfing, and you never have to see anything that you don’t choose to see.”
Leavitt and others believe that people will still connect over the shows they see, but in a different form. “There will be chat rooms and blogs,” Leavitt says, “like with ‘Big Brother,’ where it doesn’t matter so much when exactly you saw it.”
Saffo finds this troubling; cyberspace, he says, enforces the idea of like-minded consensual groups, replacing the more diverse community of a city or a neighborhood. “The old idea that you had to get along with people you might not necessarily like or agree with because they live in your town is vanishing,” he says. “You can now occupy 100% of your information space with only those things that support your worldview. That is pretty frightening.”