Thursday, January 27, 2005

My comments page is all messed up. I don't know how to fix it. Jon tried to leave a comment but it was gone by then so I'm posting it here. It's a response to the 1-20-05 entry "I'm downloading one my favorite.....". Here it is.

"Even if you don?t believe that there is such a thing as ?television
addiction,? Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi have compiled some
startling statistics about our viewing habits: they found that ?on
average, individuals in the industrialized world devote three hours a
day? to watching television, which is half of their total leisure time.
We spend more time watching television than doing anything else but
sleeping and working. Using an ?Experience Sampling Method? to track
people?s feelings about television, Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi found
that people watching TV reported ?feeling relaxed and passive,? a state
that electroencephalograph studies of TV watchers have supported;
viewers experience ?less mental stimulation, as measured by alpha
brain-wave production, during viewing than during reading.? This
pleasurable sense of relaxation ends as soon as the TV is turned off;
what doesn?t end is ?passivity and lowered alertness.?

Why is this the case? One explanation is a biological condition called
the ?orienting response,? which Ivan Pavlov identified in 1927. As the
Scientific American study notes, ?the orienting response is our
instinctive visual or auditory reaction to any sudden or novel
stimulus,? and includes the dilation of blood vessels to the brain and
the slowing of the heart. Researchers such as Byron Reeves of Stanford
University and Esther Thorson of the University of Missouri have
studied brainwaves to determine how television activates the orienting
response and found that it does so with great facility; this explains
why some people lament that they can?t not watch a television when it
is on. Babies as young as six weeks have been found to attend to the
images flashing across the TV screen. ?In ads, action sequences, and
music videos, formal features frequently come at a rate of one per
second, thus activating the orienting response continuously,?
Scientific American notes."


title: The Age of Egocasting
dvr: Christine Rosen

[talk/type] soon


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