I have not heard the TV referred to, as the idiot box in a long time now. My guess is that it is because no one talks about TV that much, any longer, anyway.
Everyone is so busy with the Internet, the TV has stopped being as important as it was about a decade ago. Personally, I think it is a great thing that people spend less time on TV and more time on the Internet.
I have always believed that the Internet makes you a smarter person. The assumption here is that your curiosity drives you to research and find answers. Without curiosity, the Internet will be just like a colossal library; cheap membership and low footfalls.
Personally, I have really benefited from spending a lot more time on YouTube and a lot less time watching CNBC.Â I feel that there are two key differences between watching financial news and analysis on TV versus watching the same thing on YouTube.
- You can’t ask your TV questions: When you hear someone saying bailing out GM is not a good idea on TV, you can’t turn around and ask that guy what will the pensioner’s do if they let GM go bankrupt? On the other hand, if you watch a video on YouTube which favors the GM bailout, it will have several comments which let you know why GM should not be bailed out with links to videos of economists and pundits with opposing views. You can keep asking more questions and soon enough you will find a pretty good idea of what both camps are saying. This is not so true on TV. Although TV shows also try and bring in both views, very often because of the ideology of the TV station itself, one side gets less coverage. The Internet does not have any biases and is much better in answering questions.
- Internet is not afraid to deliver bad news: The first time I ever saw Peter Schiff was on YouTube. This was much before any of his prophecies became true and I was really surprised that I had not seen him on TV before. One reason might be that Peter Schiff doesn’t make good TV. He is not like Larry Kudlow or Kramer who scream at the top of their voices and are generally very animated. Those are the guys who make good TV. Also, you don’t see a lot of financial advisers who are bearish in general and deliver bad news. Even if that bad news turns out accurate, TV is full of people who are generally upbeat and animated. People who deliver bad news generally do not fare well on TV (even if they are accurate).
I have subscribed to a lot of channels on YouTube and apart from the usual dose of annual reports and Economist’s articles, financial commentary on YouTube is my favorite new thing.
What about you? How do you get your financial news and advice? Is TV still the center of it all for you or have you switched to the Internet?
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