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Life no longer stops for TV thanks to video recorders

If you're like me you probably have plenty on your plate. If work isn't enough - and for most of us it is - then there are projects, errands and you name it to be done, planned or discussed.

There are trips to be taken, people to be seen and tasks to be completed. Topping off that mountainous to-do list is the one thing we can't do without - the one thing that keeps us scurrying to be on schedule, the one thing that keeps us up past our bedtime.

Our TV. We no longer just want it, we need it. Thanks to TiVo, other digital video recorders and options like On Demand, we can have our fill of TV in the same super-size proportions as our to-do lists.

This is both good and bad - good from the consumer having voluminous options standpoint, bad from the humans having a life standpoint.

As much as I love my DVR, it has changed the way I watch TV, and not necessarily for the better. Now I watch much more, a trait I share with most DVR owners.

Because I don't have to watch programs at the precise time they are broadcast, it is now much easier to fit TV into an already crowded schedule. It's also easier to add shows to the must-watch list, one that for most of us has become every bit as crowded as the to-do list.

Whereas we used to stack up magazines and newspapers, saving them for that one article we knew we just had to read, we now do the digital equivalent with television. If you ever felt guilt at having one of those knee-high newspaper stacks, you should meet a loyal "Lost" viewer who is two or three episodes behind.

The funny thing is, those of us who are neck-deep in the TiVo culture don't think of it as almost drowning. We love watching all of our shows and can't understand why the rest of you won't come in for a swim.

Case in point: A TiVo-less co-worker recently told a group of us that since she had to meet friends for dinner that night, she would be unable to watch "My Name is Earl."

What will you do then, she was asked?

I'll just miss it, she said.

There wasn't an audible gasp, but the facial expressions were the type you'd expect if she had just eaten a salamander. The only thing that kept us all from going into shock was her assurance that she would be home in time to watch "The Office."

That's not a problem I share. My shows are always there for me. But I can't help thinking that ensuring I never miss an episode of "Two and a Half Men" may not be the best use of technology

Then again, Charlie Sheen is pretty funny. Or at least he was in the season premiere. I'll let you know about the rest when I finally catch up.

Todd Cline can be reached via e-mail at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Tuesdays.

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