Did Gen-Z Kill Cable Television?


Aubrey Mailloux, Staff Writer

Gen-Z was born just after the dawn of the internet, gaining access to many new forms of technology as they aged. With new options of entertainment on the internet like Netflix and YouTube, the generation has taken a step back from traditional cable television. Does this mean the end of channels, waiting to watch SNL on a Saturday, and fighting siblings for the remote?

A CNBC report from 2019 found that the average Gen-Z member spends almost three and a half hours each day watching videos online. This new way of consuming content has shifted teens from cable TV to new mediums of entertainment, like Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok. 

Most teens are taking to their phones for their entertainment.

“Sometimes my dad has cable on for news so I watch it when he has it on, but I never watch it on my own,” said junior Jennifer Gustafson. Gustafson instead gets her entertainment from Youtube, Hulu, and Netflix.

Junior Alyssa Eastlund has a similar sentiment. “I usually use Hulu, Voodoo, and YouTube. My family doesn’t really have cable anymore”.

As teens shift away from the TV and towards their phones, Kelly Walsh students are interacting with entertainment in new ways. Opportunities on the internet have even allowed students to become the creators.

Enter the Kelly Walsh Band Tik Tok account @kellywalshband. The band has been making Tik Toks on the account since band camp in late summer of 2021. The account has amassed over 77,000 likes in these short months as of mid-November by creating content during practices and at the State Marching Band Competition. The band’s “Pass the Phone” trend Tik Tok has received over 200,000 views and 48,000 likes. 

Members of the band have had a lot of fun creating the Tik Toks and connecting with other bands from across the state on the app.

“Tik Tok’s kind of an addiction for Gen-Z. It’s our kind of entertainment,” said drumline member Melissa Galles. “Our Tik Toks are cooler than TV because they’re funny and they have a lot of band kid jokes,” said Galles.

Tik Tok has allowed Gen-Z to relate more to the content they consume, and take an active role in creating it, too.

With all of the new ways to spend time on the internet constantly expanding, Kelly Walsh students will just have to see what the next avenue of creation will be. One thing’s for sure-teens are excited about taking part in creating entertainment.