We often go too far as alarmists when a new technology appears. Now it’s up to the screens (mobile, tablet, basically), to which we assign all sorts of negative aspects: what if the blue light, if it hypnotizes us, if we spend too much time looking at them, and so on. These are questions that, one by one, will have to be investigated little by little, but which, ironically, do not differ much from the criticisms that were made of television and, even further back, of books. Yes, there was a time when books were criticized in the same way that the Internet is now criticized.
We must be alert, without being doomsayers, then, because besides, the screens are changing at great speed. In short, maybe they won’t be screens in the classic sense. In only 70 years, in fact, screens have changed in this way.
1959: Ben-Hur, the most expensive Hollywood film with the most expensive campaign in history, was released. It became the blockbuster film, just after Gone with the Wind. At this time, the movie industry was the third in the United States, after grocery stores and cars.
1965: More than 90 percent of households now have television. People spend more than five hours in front of it. They are less likely to go to the movies. The number of seats bought by an adult fell from about 25 a year in 1950 to 4 in 2015.
Beginning of the 21st century: People start subscribing to television, paying for personalized content. Time Warner and Disney start earning more money from cable channels than from their film divisions.