Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2234 T-Vacuity

It occurred to me the other day why it is we see people addictively looking at their phones all the time. It's because they are miniature TVs.

Back in the day, when social psychologists were first faced with the horrors of the new television medium, there were all sorts of scholarly articles about how the boob tube was sucking the life out of American family dynamics and American work productivity. 

In those articles were various references to the addictive nature of TV, how people tended to passively vegetate as the images moved for them across the screen. The term "couch potato" was born, as was the aforementioned "boob tube." The vacuum tube in the guts of this box in people's living rooms vacuumed their social connection as well.

Fast forward to the days of sports bars and tons of TVs plugged into broadband cable and satellite networks. True socializing was sucked out of the room by those flickering images too. 

Perhaps that's the key, flickering images. It certainly draws me. I can't enter a room with a TV going without my visual attention being drawn to it. Like a crow with a sparkly thing, an ADHD like me is instantly drawn to an HDTV. 

Maybe it's not even the moving figures on the monitors, it's the subliminal sparkle of electrons flickering across the screen that's the real draw. Something within us is electro-magnetically attracted on a microscopic level. Is it any wonder the gateway device to our present predicament was a cellular phone?

Because our new smartphones are the same way. Drawing us in as we walk down the street or sip lattes in a coffee shop. The boob tube is now constantly with us, sucking out our brains anywhere and everywhere. 

We've got TVs in our pocket.

America, ya gotta love it. 

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