Sure, we're alarmists (for the fun of it). But consider our Patient Zero.

She is a real 14-year old girl. She lives in our house. And we have a hard time imagining media companies and advertisers reaching her effectively in 10 years.

Does that mean we think media companies will crumble and advertisers will cease to find relevant touchpoints with audiences? Hardly.

Yet consider our Patient Zero for a likely outbreak of apathy among media consumers in the years ahead. She watches two hours of television a week -- one Oprah and one Amazing Race. At breakfast, she scans the newspaper headlines only, but spends more time instant-messaging with other teens around the country, sharing their plans for the day ahead. After school and while doing her homework she also is continuously connected to her personal network via IM and cell phone. When she does a search on Google or types in a URL it's almost always at the suggestion of someone else. And, even when the site is ad-supported, she's almost always gone before any ads can register.

She picks up magazines on the newsstand about once a month, but seems to linger just briefly on ads from brands that she's been introduced to via their recommended Web sites. And, recently, she has reduced her time spent on recommended ad-supported Web sites because she's started a blog to share pictures and funny captions with her network.

This girl likes movies, yet she doesn't read reviews by single voices at individual media outlets. She pops onto RottenTomatoes and looks at the aggregated score of all the reviewers to make her choice. This is a data-driven decision, not one influenced by an editorial story or an ad.

Yes, this young woman likely will reduce her time spent in direct communications with friends in the years ahead. But, will she replace that time by consuming today's definition of converged media from media companies? Again, in the spirit of having fun sounding alarm bells about the unknown future, we doubt she'll read, watch or listen to the types of stories coming from media companies today. So, what will she consume?