I was browsing clever Twitter posts for the #makeasongtitlelonger hashtag and saw the song title “Video Killed the Radio Star” extended by adding “in the ballroom with the candlestick.” After chuckling, I began to think about the actual impact of modern changes in entertainment upon our listening habits and opportunities.
I only listened to the radio while driving, even before the advent of rock videos and the Internet, but, while living in rural Idaho, I discovered the wonderful conference speakers and sacred songs aired by the local Christian radio station. A homemaker at the time, I enjoyed the companionship and enrichment of renowned preachers and teachers, interspersed with inspiring music, while I did my housework.
When I moved from Idaho, I searched the radio dial for similar programming in my new town, but couldn’t find it. Eventually I went out to work, but with every subsequent relocation to a different part of the country, I scanned the radio dial, hoping to find my old favorites. I was appalled at the foul language creeping into popular songs and shock jock programming.
In retirement, once again able to spend more time at home, I discovered the vast reach and variety of Internet radio and I reconnected to the programming I’d missed. I was amazed to find a few of the same programs I’d loved thirty years ago still on the air.
While radio listening habits have no doubt changed in our culture with the advent of the Internet, listening opportunities have actually increased.
This is just another example of how technological advances can be seen as good or evil. Like so many things in this world, it all depends on how you choose to use them.