Isolation Television is Bad for Society

Francis Fukuyama and Robert Putnam argue that trust is a social capital needed for prosperity and effective democracy to occur. Without common bonds, trust is difficult to achieve. Television used to be a place where families and friends would gather together. I can recall black and white photos which showed members of the 1950s family grabbing their TV dinners and piling in front of the old RCA television set. Their excitement was evident. So was their joy of being together for classic television moments, from “I Love Lucy” or “Leave it to Beaver.” Psychologists may suggest these shared experiences led to stronger bonds, and actually had a positive impact on society. These bonds led to greater cooperation and decades of economic growth.

In the 1990s, we experienced the last of television as a social means. “The Simpsons” may still show the family racing for the best seat to watch “Itchy and Scratchy,” but this is history since the Internet revolution. The social gatherings to watch “Friends,” “My So Called Life,” or “Sex and the City” were replaced with social networks and on demand, time-shifted television.

Today, we watch television at our convenience. The Internet and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have changed the way we watch television. These services provide remarkable convenience for today’s busy lifestyles, while meeting increasing demands for instant gratification. I began my career when co-workers would still commune around the water cool, and discuss last night’s dramatic episode of “Survivor.” Because everyone is now watching on their own schedules, we have to be careful about what we say in the company of others because of spoiler concerns.

Today, there are no more family gatherings around the TV, no more viewing parties, the water cooler has been abandoned. We have isolated ourselves from the socialization television provided for the many decades prior? As convenient as Netflix is, this trend may be negatively affecting our cooperation and prosperity.

Showgo is a new app developed to address this issue. Showgo allows users to watch their favorite shows while posting and reading comments as moments unfold. Because the comments are synced with the show, there are no spoilers. Showgo was developed to share moments with friends, even if they watched the show days, weeks or months apart. We are never going back to a time before Netflix, so Showgo was built so we can still develop bonds over great entertainment.

Don’t binge watch alone.

Download Showgo at

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.