According to Forbes, Apple TV is working on a plan to pay cable companies to allow viewers to opt out of watching commercials. This will be disastrous for boomers.
Without commercials, Life in the Boomer Lane (LBL) will not know which medications she should be requesting from her doctor. Worse, she won't know about all the life-threatening side effects of those medications. And, even worse than that, she won't keep abreast of all the disorders that she might have (like Pseudobulbar Affect) that she is unaware of but should be taking meds for and then having disastrous side effects.
LBL won't know which anti-aging products to use that work wonders on the model spokespeople who are her children's age. These commercials always serve to have her happily focus on her crow's feet and not on the fact that her cheeks have become her jowls. This is important because the success rate of crow's feet semi-eradication seems to have a better track record than obtaining hydraulics to place jowls back where they belong.
LBL will not be aware that babies can now speak, drive convertibles, go to the office, break dance, do well in the stock market, and be downright sexy. She will regret that the only things her children did as babies was to cry, poop, pee, eat, drink, and be as attractive as Yoda from Star Wars.
LBL will not know about all of the magical food products for school age children: candy that explodes in one's mouth, Kid Cuisine, McDonald's Happy Meals, Printed Fun Pop Tarts, Reese's Puffs and Wheatabix chocolate cereals. She would not know that "Lucky Charms is part of a good breakfast." Worst of all, she wouldn't know that soda is not only beneficial to one's health and well-being, but that if the average eleven-year-old hangs out alone at a gas station Coke machine at night, he has a fair shot of seeing Beyoncé drive up, emerge from her car wearing not much and watching her sashay over to the machine, start guzzling a can of Coke, and actually speak to him as he guzzles his own can.
LBL will erroneously believe that the only thing she will have to look forward to in her declining years will be a never-ending round of Depends, soft food and tennis balls stuck to the legs of her walker. She will not have seen the Taco Bell commercial, in which a group of octogenarians bust out of their retirement home, get tattoos, engage in public displays of affection, as well as breaking and entering, pyrotechnics, and finally, some well-deserved late night offerings at Taco Bell.
It is unclear whether commercial-free TV will impact solely on products or on previews of upcoming shows. If upcoming shows are also obliterated, LBL will no longer have any knowledge of the tsunami of reality shows that are taking over TVland. She will no longer be able to say "Oh, I know what that is" when people refer to "Infested," "100 Ways to Die," "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" and "Fox News."
It's bad enough to make one's way through the world feeling like one should be stuffed, labeled, and placed in a glass case, without losing all awareness of what society deems to be of greatest value. Commercials are all that stand in the way of complete dissociation between boomers and real life.
Don't take our commercials way from us.