The title is sort of stating the obvious, but let me explain. I think the majority of my generation caught the back-end of cable TV before digital viewing came in (e.g. SkyTV and Virgin Media). However, with the help of the internet and the greater competitive development of technology, televisions are getting “SMART-er”.
The Death of TV on a Telly
For years now, Sky, Virgin and BT have been a pinnacle part of our furniture. Much of TV viewing requires a box on the TV stand which contains hundreds of different channels. From Hollywood to Bollywood. From Bollywood to Nollywood. Then to Friends on every other channel. I think some show sport, but rumour has it you have to sacrifice a limb for it.
You know when it all changed? When screens replaced buttons on devices which became heavily reliant on the internet. That changed television in a way which we constantly overlook. It is leading to the death of television on a telly (if it has not already happened). Netflix became the ‘King of the Jungle’.
It costs significantly lower than TV boxes, and you don’t actually need a box to view it. Sky Originals from previous years often appear on it, so no need to buy boxsets. In fact, many major TV networks put their shows on Netflix. It offers pretty much the same thing a TV box would, yet you don’t even need a TV to watch it all. Your phone, tablet or laptop can all show it in the same quality.
Streaming is taking over. TV boxes will soon become a thing of the past. Think about it. Streaming services are half the price, accessible everywhere at any time, accustomed to you and…NO ADVERTS!
For the majority of the 10’s, Netflix dominated the streaming scene. I mean Hulu have been around and Amazon Prime snuck in too. But Netflix is the first name you think of in this discussion. However, other big name players are entering the new game. Disney recently launched Disney+ and both ITV and BBC have created a joint service, BritBox, to keep British television up-to-speed.
The question is, what can the likes of Sky and Virgin Media offer that these services can’t? Rather than offering a wide-variety of channels, these services actually analyse your viewing and will recommend shows for you. It saves you flicking through an endless library. I am pretty sure these TV boxes are not able to do that. Oh, and you don’t need a TV license either.
TV’s don’t just have channels anymore, they have apps. You can even browse the web on your TV. On my TV remote, there are actually buttons for Netflix and Amazon Prime to take you straight to the apps. To me, this indicates that one of these is the first place a viewer would go. It is certainly the first place I go. It tells me they expect you to stream your TV shows and not plug in a box.
It’s hard to see how this isn’t the death of TV boxes. It could be a critical blow for the likes of Sky. Even though they have a deal with Netflix, will it be enough to save their platform?
I first came across this idea back when I was a student. In one particular lecture, my professor asked the question “Is Elon Musk really trying to save the planet or is he exposing a hot topic for profit?” Those who thought he was a hero stood on one side of the room, the others on the opposite. It was 50/50. I thought (and still do) that Elon is the hero we’ve been looking for, but the result of that question genuinely had me surprised. In this article, let us explore both arguments.
Who the Hell is Elon Musk???
He’s the man of the hour. He might just be the man who saves us. He is his own franchise (not sure if that’s the right word here). He’s not only an entrepreneur, but he’s also an engineer, an investor and an all-around genius.
He’s the co-founder of PayPal, founder of The Boring Company, co-founder of Tesla as well as the founder of, my personal favourite adventure of his, SpaceX. These are not the only companies he has founded by the way, just the ones which are more commonly known amongst the general population. He’s the CEO of three of those companies. He has a net-worth of over $20 billion. He’s made it on to two of Forbes most prestigious lists: ‘21st in The World’s Most Powerful People (December 2016)’ and he is the ‘40th Richest Person in the World (April 2019)’. If you want a more detailed background on the man, check out his Wikipedia page.
In this article, we are going to look at his three most recognised successes: PayPal, Tesla and Space X. It will talk about why or why not they may be beneficial to the future of our home. It’s time to decide whether Elon Musk is our saviour or our super-villain.
Not a great amount can be said on PayPal in all honesty, aside the fact it is contributing to the whole ‘cashless society’ movement. It was an early move from Musk, more of a start-up to fund his more recent projects rather than going straight for the sole purpose he conveys.
The whole cashless society idea, which I believe is estimated to be lodged around 2030, is a movement which can really benefit the environment. The printing of cash will be a thing of the past and so intangible monies will significantly reduce the resourcing and use of paper.
However, PayPal incurs fees for commercial purposes for sellers. It’s a fair amount too but there’s many variations, dependant on geographical location, which you can see here (Finder, 2019).
Now, the question is here is: Is Elon Musk passionate about advancing towards intangible cash to reduce paper-use? Or is he using this reasoning to take advantage of the extra costs of using card-payments, whilst applying his own fees, for higher profit?
Tesla are the automotive and energy company who are really on
the come up. The quality of their vehicles is second-to-none. Although founded
in 2003, it is only recently that Tesla are becoming quite the popular name.
Why are they popular? It’s because of the efficiency of
their products. Tesla cars are entirely electric, yet they are still as
powerful, beautiful and luxurious as your top-end car brands (such as JLR,
Aston Martin, BMW, Mercedes, etc). Only once have I sat in a Tesla car, but oh
my is it quick! It’s easy for me to drift on a tangent here and talk about why
it’s probably the best brand in the motor industry right now, but let me stick
to the point here. It wouldn’t be fair for me to say Elon Musk has changed the
industry by focusing on electric motors, as many other car manufacturers are
also taking the route of electric (and even hybrid) vehicles, but he is
certainly accelerating the rate of pace in which electricity-run motors are
taking over our roads by producing the best quality product through the only well-known car manufacturer who do
not rely on fossil-fuels.
Who knows where this might lead. It could come to the point where
Tesla are the leading brand in the industry and so other car brands would have
no choice but to accelerate their own pace of throwing out the oil-run motors and
relying on electricity. It would lead to public transport relying on electricity
too. It might even expand further than the roads. Our boats on the waters and our
planes in the air could all follow
in the footsteps of Tesla.
However, there is another side to this. Does Elon Musk want the others to follow Tesla?
A forum on Quroa suggests that Tesla does not supply their batteries to other cars. This is because Tesla’s technology is different. They’re ahead of the game. Their batteries/chargers wouldn’t be compatible with other cars, or even if they were, would not work as well. By offering better product which is more advanced tech than your competitors, and by keeping in-house and quiet, it will give you a distinct advantage in the industry and will definitely induce profit even though they are not selling it.
Does Tesla want to take over? Do they not want their competitors to succeed? Do they want to get so far ahead they kill them off? Do they want 100% of the market share? ALL the profit? Do they want to be just like Apple in their quest of world domination? Or do they really want to create efficient motors and be the only ones to do so? Does Elon Musk think he’s the only one with the “right” vision and doesn’t trust the others in following that path?
What do you think Elon is trying to do with Tesla?
SpaceX, supposedly, is here for space exploration, transportation
and developing space technology. They’ve developed a rocket (Falcon 9) which is
“re-usable”, and by that I mean it doesn’t just fall off into the sea it
actually lands back on Earth and can be sent up again.
But you know what their mission statement is? Their “ultimate goal” is to enable people to “live on other planets” (SpaceX, 2019). In other words, even though Elon Musk is trying to save this planet, even he knows it’s f****d. In my eyes, SpaceX is a programme to get us the hell out of here before it’s too late. It’s his ‘Plan B’. Just watch this video and you’ll know what I mean:
He wants to send people to Mars by 2024. You know why? Because
once that step is done, and considering the pace Musk’s companies develop at,
there won’t be many more steps before people can actually live there. Recent discoveries
from NASA have suggested that there once may have been life on Mars, with some ice
under the surface having been found.
How could Musk possibly be using this programme as a venture
for profit rather than an escape plan? There’s not much against it, in all
honesty. I might be saying that because I am, admittedly, slightly bias. I love
his work. The only argument I could possibly think of is that he’s exposing an
industry which only he is capable of being successful in. He has the finances
to fund such a venture, as well as the advanced technology to actually have a
massive presence there. The longer they stay there and develop their technology,
and potentially exceeding NASA, it turns into a bit of a monopoly. NASA will
have no choice but to buy from SpaceX (they’re already putting their astronauts
on Falcon 9) because if they don’t, SpaceX will do it themselves. They have the
knowledge, technology and, at some point, will definitely have the money. They’re
either a threat or friend to NASA.
It’s difficult to suggest that SpaceX is some sort of “exploitation”. It’s nothing close to that in my eyes. Yes, it is guaranteed profit; if you factor Musk’s technological ability, his financial stability and his excellent entrepreneurial skills; but you need that if you are going achieve a mission which people don’t think is possible for DECADES! The big money is essential if he is going to achieve that goal. But I guess you could always ask ‘will he ever achieve it?’
Is Elon Musk a hero or a villain? After reading this, it
would be great to hear what you think of Musk and his projects!
Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (and give us a follow while you’re there):
Does judgement, conflicts, selling a lifestyle, posting pointless images with unrelated song lyrics count as being social? Let me ask you a question. How many Instagram (or Twitter) followers do you have? For many, it’s well over 300. Out of those hundreds, how many do you actually know? How many do you actually interact with? If you’re answer is “not many”, or thereabouts, let me ask you one final question. Why do you want strangers to see your life? You’re not interacting with each other, I’m assuming you just want to be looked at. Is this being social or is this just a crave for attention? What was the original purpose of social media? It was to stay connected to friends and family, right? It was a way of keeping in touch without actually keeping in touch. It was essentially an update of your life. Let’s be honest, it’s not used for that anymore (or very rarely I should say). In this article, I’m not going to talk about how businesses use social media (that will come another time), but more how personal users sell their lifestyles on various platforms and how some misuse the channel.
Social media feels like it’s been around forever. I mean, what
did we used to do when we were waiting around for something? What did we do
when we were procrastinating at work? What did we do on long journey’s? It’s
crazy to think social media has only been a ‘thing’ for little over a decade.
But a lot has changed in its use in that time.
When platforms such as Facebook and Twitter first came around,
we were given a purpose for them by the brands themselves. Facebook was
supposed to be used to connect people globally. Twitter was more or less the
same except it was more interactive, especially with celebrities (and such)
being a lot more active and personal on this channel.
What’s changed is that people have let the ideology of being
connected to the entire globe get to their head. The possibilities of what you
can make out of this became endless. For those who realised that early on, they
have become successful. They have created businesses and careers out of it
(e.g. The LadBible and ‘Vine-ers’). But nowadays, everyone wants the same thing.
They want to be seen. They realise the possibilities, so they’ll do anything for
a like or a retweet. And ‘anything’ became worse and worse and continues to do
so. People will embarrass themselves. Matter of fact, they will degrade themselves
if it means they get seen. If you want an example, I have one word for you…TikTok.
What’s changed is that the users of social media have
realised there’s no limit to what they can do or say on the channel. They almost
get lost in it, like it’s detached from reality. It’s detached from reality
because people can be whoever they want. Who says you have to use your real
name? Or your own photo? Or your own thoughts? People can be massive on the
socials but hidden in real life. People have actually forgotten that social
media is a part of the real world.
This can cause trouble. I remember I got suspended in school for uploading a video of a kid singing a Peter Andre song and pranking another kid. I thought it was hilarious. But I forgot the people who were seeing this were real people, and some of those real people were people I had a professional relationship with (the students and teachers). But I was a kid, I learnt that lesson early. I see adults making similar mistakes. I saw someone on LinkedIn telling their life-story of how they got to where they were now, which is fair enough, but some of the content was not relevant for that platform. This lady was telling a lot about her personal life, focusing on her past relationships, on a platform where your professional credentials matter, not your personal matters. Something like this would stand out on LinkedIn because it is content which does not fit the purpose. It’s as if they are looking for the attention so they get views on their profile and likes on their post. Only businesses should live by the saying “any publicity is good publicity”, not people. You’re not getting the views for the right reasons. I highly doubt your future employers have a keen interest in your ex. I also highly doubt it’s doing you any favours.
People who use social media use it in a way to attract a
certain audience. You’re behaving like a business. You want followers to see
what you get up to but you don’t even care about them. You don’t care who see’s
just as long as they see. You’ll behave like someone you’re not just to get them
to see you. You will act like a completely different person online than you
will in real life.
People will only show one angle (literally) of themselves. They only get their good side, and I’m not just talking about their selfies. In order to get them followers, to get that popularity and attention, people only show the best versions of themselves (if it is actually themself).
Does this effect people’s behaviour in real life? I feel like it might. I feel like there may be individuals who get so lost in this virtual world that they change their actual habits. They become this other person, one they prefer, so one they become.
I don’t know…
It could be years of media portrayal of the “ideal” person or lifestyle. It could be the vacuum we call the internet and the virtual world, which ironically could be seen as a disconnect rather than a connect to the real world. It could be something deeper than that.
There are plenty of people who use the socials as a place for creativity, sharing new ideas, alternative news, fun, raising awareness and, it’s original purpose, connecting with family and friends. I respect the people who do that. They’re being positive and are taking advantage of such an impactful platform, rather than getting lost in it.
Here’s the Irony…
Follow the socials! (lol)
Comment below or share your thoughts using the hashtag #YouHerdItHere! And remember to #FollowTheFlock.