Free or Fee Television?

Free or Fee Television?

Netflix, Stan, Quickflix, Presto, Ezyflix, Foxtel Play!

Now, I am sure that you would have heard some of these names, just to mention a few, pop up in general chit chat around town. If you haven’t heard of any of these, the simple explanation is that they are just some of the on demand products that can be subscribed to for a fee where you can access films and television shows online through devices such as your smart TV, apple TV, PlayStation or Xbox.

But what got me thinking was the fact that I don’t watch ‘normal’ television anymore and my partner and I don’t even watch television together since we now have the ability to tailor our viewing experiences to our personal tastes.

So is this a negative or a positive technological advancement for society?

I remember when I was young basing my sense of time on what was on the television. I knew that after watching The Simpsons during a weekday, that dinner would be ready and it was time to eat. I also knew that on a Saturday night, Hey, Hey, It’s Saturday would be the time which we would get takeaway and watch television together as a family.

So this has got me thinking, since we are a generation that is time poor and technology rich, is traditional television broadcasts becoming something that is going to be non-existent in the future, because we can always access it on demand on a variety of different media (phone, tablet, computer) and if so is it going to (or already is) have a negative side-effect on relationships?

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As a stay at home mum with a 3 and a half-month-old, I can tell you that traditional television has let me down. If it was a friend, I would have cut it out of my life completely due to our relationship deteriorating because it didn’t make me feel loved and it continually tried to sell me stuff that I didn’t need (except those steak knives… I needed those. Lol). I can’t get on board with the soapies that are available during the day and don’t get me started on the midday movie. So as a quick fix to my situation, my husband and I decided to get Netflix. Oh, what a relief! I can now choose what I want to watch, when I want to watch it, and it even tends to my growing needs and suggests shows or films that I might like based on what I have already watched – hello BFF!

Now, unfortunately, I am addicted to online streaming (I just can’t get enough) and so we got Stan and now I have even more choices than ever. Stan (my new BFF) was the one who was there for me during those 2am feeds, and while I am grateful, I am a little saddened because it now means that since my partner and I have such differing tastes in tv shows we now go our separate ways after we have dinner to get our daily dose of our favourite show.

​So is this a negative or are we just taking time out for ourselves to chill out and relax?

After writing this article and reflecting on this particular situation my family seems to have gotten them selves into, I have come to the conclusion that while we do watch A LOT of on-demand television alone, we don’t let it negatively influence our relationship.

We still eat ​our meals at the table as a family to catch up on daily events and while we do go our separate ways after, I know that I can always go outside for a chat (and visa-versa) and we can always pause the show we are watching and not miss out on a thing.


Nicole has lived in Townsville for 8 years and married her husband last year.  Currently on maternity leave from her high school teaching position, Nicole is enjoying the new challenges of becoming a mum after welcoming a beautiful baby girl in September 2015.

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