I grew up on TV. From a massive 5ft console that housed a 27″ TV back in the ’70s (that only got 6 channels) to my new 1/2″ thick 55-inch Samsung I’ve been a TV guy. The TV is my “screen” of choice for sure.

That’s not the case for my daughter who’s three.

Recently I DVR’d Frozen for her and thought, “Great, now she can have it on the TV whenever she wants it”. Problem is she’s not all that interested in watching “TV”. She much, much, much prefers holding the iPad mini and “controlling” things.

It’s fascinating to watch her navigate and master the iPad. To her it’s natural and the TV is this weird giant thing halfway across the room. That you can’t even touch!!!

And trust me she knows what she’s doing on the iPad. At first I thought it was random button mashing and luck, but it’s not. I recently moved the YouTube and Netflix app into a folder, just to see. She found them no problem. She can’t read, but after launching YouTube she “knows” which button is her history and can easily navigate there and dial up past viewings. Remarkable.

The other thing that is remarkable to me is how quickly her affinity changes. Sure, a lot of that has to do with being three, but YouTube is so ridiculously good at feeding her new, similar content she’s more than happy to explore more and more “shows”. Related: I don’t even know what you call these things on YouTube. They are shows right… or are they one-offs or something in between? To her it doesn’t matter, it’s just all watchable and she’s the one in the driver seat.

I’m curious if she’ll ever learn the concept of channels on TV like I did growing up.  Most likely not. To her it will simply be apps or services. YouTube, Netflix, and the like. I find that fascinating. The tide is shifting for sure. Maybe it already has and I’m holding on to the old way with both hands firmly on the remote. Interesting times.

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