Who's eating who? (pt. 4)

You're a captive audience when you're watching television. When you use other mediums for your entertainment, it's a lot easier to stop when you want to. Ever try to pause a book? It's not terribly hard. All we do is pause books. They're meant to be stopped and started. A great thing about text is that you can use it in a richer variety of ways than you can use standard television; you can put a dictionary next to a novel and read them alongside each other when you want to reference somethign in the novel. Also overlooked is the ability to rewind and fast forward your text. You can cut text however you want -- in other words, you can stop reading and do something else at the end of a chapter, at the end of a paragraph, in the middle of a sentence, or at the end of the introduction. You have more freedom when it comes to creatively altering the text, for a lot cheaper than it costs to effectively creatively alter television.

Because it is mostly text, the Internet is a lot like a book in the freedom it grants you. It's a very large index of information that can be used as a library. Search engines like Google help us to find all of this information. With TV you can only watch, on a given day, what they are broadcasting. With the Internet, you can access any "program" -- any chunk of information, at any time of the day, on any day of the week. Essentially, you create your own "program schedule."

If you are conditioned to watch TV for a certain number of hours a day, and nothing you actually like is on, do you keep the TV on or do you do something else? If you're heavily conditioned to watch, then you probably do just that. In doing this, you end up being fed extra commercials and programming that you don't really want. These influence your decisions and affect your mind's state. Despite what people may believe about "tuning out" the television when they're not particularly interested, we still absorb a message from something that we're paying some degree of mind to.


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