I read an essay titled "The Trouble with Television," and I have to tell you about it. Robert MacNeil wrote this over twenty years ago, yet it still has resonance today. In fact, he could probably edit it to include "All of the Latest Technology" and still have it resonate.
Trust me, I am not going to tell you television/internet is the root of all evil. I love to watch a movie, love to secretly enjoy a soap opera-ish show, love to surf the 'net. . . but doing without access to the Internet at home has highlighted both the good and the bad of the computer age for me. I'm also one of "those" moms who's usually guilty of letting the kids watch television more than they should. . .but this week's grounding from television until after homework, supper, and baths has surely created some peacefulness that has me thinking in devious ways, wondering how to extend this without the kids really realizing it, LOL. I'm of the "let them figure it out for themselves camp" when it comes to non-life-threatening issues, so I've always figured the kids would eventually get tired of television on their own and wean themselves. So, in a nutshell, my stance on television and the internet and other fast-time goodies is that they're okay to enjoy in moderation, BUT. . .
The "but" is that you have to make yourself aware of all the sneaky ways those things change your life so that you don't let them change your personality. Mr. MacNeil's assertions about television discouraging concentration should be heeded. I have come to think about it in terms of what television has done to my patience (or lack thereof). I can sit down and read a good book for hours, but put me in front of the television, and my thumb is in danger of being sprained from all the clicking. I watch two shows at once and end up complaining because "there's nothing good to watch on television." I can melt glass for hours without losing my enthusiasm. I can sketch for a good, solid hour before getting tired. The list is practically endless, once I start to think about it. Unfortunately, television and the internet seem to automatically flip a switch in my brain, the impatience switch.
I'm running out of time at the library for tonight, so I'll end my musings for now. If this were another day and age, though, I would be writing, brainstorming, and re-writing my own essay covering many points in response to MacNeil's points. Think about that. . .