Okay - I'll admit it. I'm a Weather Channel junkie. Or, at least, I used to be.
I could have the Weather Channel on all day, watching the radar displays as they change and move across the nation.
But lately, I believe their programming changes have cured me of this addiction.
No, it's not the 30-60 minutes shows that focus on asking people how they felt about a tornado destroying their home, their town and killing their neighbors. Fortunately, those types of shows aren't on during the times I found myself almost unconsciously flipping to the channel, so I could avoid the sappiness.
And it wasn't the way they changed their national map to slant backwards - away from the screen - as opposed to being flat.
And it wasn't even the way they changed to featuring more of their hosts rather than the view of the weather radar itself.
Don't get me wrong, those things did bother me. But not enough that I would actually stop my daily routine of having the Weather Channel on in the background.
No, the straw that broke the camel's back is probably something that doesn't bother most people - but it has, indeed, cured my addiction to knowing what the temperature/snow fall/rain forecast is for places not my own.
It's the social media emphasis.
That's right - it's their constant referral to what people are saying on Twitter or reading comments from their Facebook page.
If I wanted to know that stuff, I'd go to Twitter or Facebook and find out. I'm perfectly familiar with both, use them myself and am capable of utilizing them if I want.
But I don't want. I don't care what people on Twitter are saying about the weather. I don't care that the 'trending term' in areas where it's raining is - shocker! - "rain." Or that a cold snap produces the trending term of "cold." Duh!
If I wanted to know that information, I'd follow the channel on Twitter myself and then read their feed. See how easy that is?
The same goes for Facebook. If I was interested in what people were writing on the Weather Channel's Facebook page, I'd 'like' it myself and then read the page.
I don't watch TV to find out what's going on on Twitter and Facebook.
No, when I watch the Weather Channel, I want the weather. I want the radar and the forecast. I want the snowfall and rainfall predictions. I want the number of lightning strikes. I want the temps and the highs and lows and the difference from the norms.
And now that I'm deer hunting, I want the sunrise and sunset times.
As a sailor, I want the marine forecast and the wind predictions. In the winter, as a hard-water sailor, I want the water temperature and the chance of snow - hopefully getting the snow before the water freezes so I have both snow on the ground and clear ice for ice boating.
With family all over the place, I want to know if Memphis (aunt and cousins) and Atlanta (niece and her family), Minneapolis (nephew and his fiance), Las Vegas (cousin and her family), New York (nephew) and even Chile (nephew) are getting storms or wind or rain or, as happened the other day, snow - (in Memphis even before we got any!).
That's what I want from the Weather Channel - not stuff I can get elsewhere, if I wanted to.
So, while I'll still turn to the Weather Channel for the Local on the 8s and will stay there long enough to see a national forecast, I will not stay there for long.
At least, that's what I'm telling myself.