Sunday, July 27, 2014
Turn off the Television
Well, I take that back -- I turned it on briefly to listen to the news this morning while getting dressed, but other than that - nada.
The impetus for this little experiment came about accidentally as Mr. SIGIS and I were sitting outside with friends one evening recently; we were talking about how listening to baseball on the radio is not the same as watching it on television. I much prefer the radio because then you have to engage your brain to visualize what is happening. We talked about how people don't remember things anymore because everything you need to know is in your smartphone -- why make the effort to remember?
Our digital age has changed the way our brains work, I think. And not necessarily in a good way. We have access to more knowledge, but we are not necessarily smarter.
As a veteran teacher, I have seen a change in the way we must teach kids, too. Kids that have never not known life without a cell phone, computer, or XBOX now must be entertained in order to learn. Learning has to be "engaging."
At any rate, we turned the TV off a week ago and as a result, Mr. SIGIS has read two and a half books so far, and I have read the nearly eight-hundred page Pultizer Prize winning The Goldfinch which I fished out of our Little Free Library on the corner.
It's been a worthwhile experiment and we will likely just leave the blasted thing off for a while. We really haven't missed it. And there is so much to be read! To that end, make note that The New Yorker has opened its archives through the end of summer and there is a whole boatload of stuff to read there - both fiction and non-fiction. Business Insider has a pretty good list to get you started.