For as long as I remember, television was a vital part of my life. Being raised in a Spanish-speaking household and for most of my toddler and elementary life, I had a greater dominance in speaking Spanish over English but television did help in me developing my English comprehension. For me, television was not something I watched for entertainment, but it became a learning experience. I cannot begin to count the number of times I sat in front of a television and would go to school the next day and ask other classmates what certain words meant and how they would use it in sentences. I remember particularly being fond of the word “cheese” (God knows why). Over time, with months of speech therapy and countless episodes of educational program, my English did improve but I kept relying on television. When I began steering away from educational program and started watching cartoons and drama shows, I would always pay attention to certain words characters said and would look up the definition of the word or examples of how the word was used (and I still do it to this day)
As I began high school and ultimately college, I began relying on television less obviously heavier workloads took me away from watching the latest VH1 episode or an E! News segment. I became more interested in entertainment and celebrity news. I began losing grip of using television as a learning experience.
The nail on the head was when my parents said they were getting rid of my cablebox (since I was in college 98% of the time and was never home). Now TV-less, I had to find another mode that would satisfy my urge. I didn’t want to watch things illegally or pay per episode online and thats when I discovered Netflix and ultimately Hulu. Streaming movies and episodes of different shows was something so foreign to me. I now felt as if I had control over my education. From watching the latest season of the trending show on television to a documentary on the John F. Kennedy assassination, I finally felt now in control of what I wanted to on television. It gave me more accessibility in learning, where now I didn’t have to just watch whatever was on the television or scroll through channel guide to see what day they’ll show the a documentary or educational programming.
So far, I’ve been “dependent” on using these streaming services for a few months to watch a variety of programs at my own leisure.