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I haven't owned a TV for years. It does fairly effectively cut you out of a lot of conversations.

Historically, people lived in little villages, knew all the same people, etc. These days, TV shows and movies get used to establish a common frame of social reference between people who really don't know each other well.

A hundred years ago, you would have commented on a mutual acquaintance or an event you both attended to bond and to facilitate communication. Now, we routinely use popular media references for the same purpose.

I mostly don't care that I'm "missing out." But, yeah, there is a real social cost involved.

Sure. But you'd have to argue that the social cost is more than a few peanuts and a nickel at this hypothetical water cooler. Or worth buying multiple subscriptions + hours invested in "keeping up" with television.

That would depend on a lot of factors. We have sayings like "Its not what you know, it's who you know" for a reason and social bonding requires common ground, effective communication, etc.

This is part of why it's de facto exclusionary for "the old boys network" to engage in specific social activities that cannot readily be done by, for example, women as well in a "co-ed" fashion.

Which may not matter at all to your life, but could be the make or break for someone else's career.

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