Where Do People Find The Time?…Prep Paper

Posted: October 6, 2010 in Prep Papers

Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody, said that Americans since the time of the industrial revolution have had issues dealing with how extra (surplus) time is spent. He also mentioned that the creation of the sitcom during World War II has led to an even higher amount of time spent watching meaningless television shows, rather than doing something productive. According to a study done by A.C. Nielsen Co., “The average American watches over 4 hours of tv a day. In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube” (“Television & health,2007). I think that there would be a huge increase in knowledge generation if Americans used even a tiny fraction of this time doing something useful like sharing ideas using social media like blogs and Twitter, or just associating with friends, family or colleagues.

If Americans could learn to take time away from their tv consumption, I’m sure that great things could be accomplished. Watching less tv can only be beneficial in a country with an alarming obesity rate and has education as the lowest ranked industry. Taking the time to do something productive is bound to show improvement in these areas because you’re using your brain and actually collaborating with others in the hopes of creating something of importance. Using Web 2.0 for this purpose could generate untold ideas and innovations that might possibly shape future technology and potentially enhance the standard of living.

Course ID: “What did we do with that free time? Well, mostly we panicked and we spent it watching tv” (Shirky). I feel that he was correct in saying that because even today, decades after the invention of television, we still fall back on it for burning up time we don’t know how to spend. What do most people do when they have free time? There are a multitude of options, but television is the one that applies to almost every individual in any situation.

Clay Shirky’s Video, Where Do People Find The Time: Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyoNHIl-QLQ&feature=related

Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNCblGv0zjU&feature=related


Television & health. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html
  1. hallmyster15 says:

    I thoroughly agree that more people should become aware of the time they spend in front of the television. When watching television, an individual is left to watch instead of doing something productive such as sharing ideas on a social network as you mentioned. Also mentioned above are some of the lifestyle benefits of watching less television. Obesity has become a gigantic issue among children these days. Although sitting behind a computer desk may have the same physical impact, children are able to use their minds and interact with programs on the web. The future looks bright and it is only a matter of time that the power of social media and computers will be completely integrated in the classroom as well as in all homes.

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