Today, it is all about getting you to watch and getting you to keep watching. Back when we had three channels, there was no problem getting you to watch and keep watching. There were not many choices, so you basically watched what everyone else watched. Variety shows were popular, as they appealed to large audiences. Now we have 500 channels of cable, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and a host of other online services. The choice of "what to watch" has expanded dramatically.
So getting you to watch and getting you to stay engaged is harder and harder to do. You need to use fear and outrage to keep people connected and engaged. And this is why Fox News - the fear and outrage channel - is the most popular news channel in the country. People who watch it are convinced that crime is through the roof and the government is so vile and corrupt that it needs to be overthrown. This causes users to be engaged and is good for their ratings, but bad for our society as a whole.
This won't change until people turn away. And maybe that is the fundamental flaw with this "Television Ruined Your Life" series. Yes, the network executives put on drivel that is designed to appeal to your baser instincts. But no, we don't have to watch it. We have been TV-free for over a decade now - no cable, no over-the-air television. And we don't miss it a bit. And increasingly, we find we don't watch much "online" television anymore either, as it has devolved into soap operas and "channels" that are little more than Internet versions of old broadcast television.
Not being constantly connected to the media is always an option. And if Television Ruined Your Life, guess what the smart phone is doing to it?