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Does lack of television produce extremes?

This article is interesting if only because it kind of vindicates not having a television. On the one hand, people without television tends to be more rigorously liberal or conservative (does its lack produce extremes or does TV water us all down?). On the other hand, people without TV tend to be much more productive in their lives.

I expect the number of people who do not have television in their homes will grow as it is becoming more of an anachronistic delivery device for entertainment.l Now, pulling away from my laptop would be a much more impressive feat. All the same, an interesting article in a Yahoo News, Look What We Found that isn’t about kittens! kind of way.

You can read the article here. Below is an excerpt:

People who had relinquished television didn’t report too many downsides. Most felt satisfied getting their news from newspapers and radio, and while some people said they felt less connected to pop culture, “many adults noted that as a point of pride,” Krcmar said.

Even most kids in non-watching households seemed to agree with their parents that they were better off without the reviled medium, though a number of kids around ages 10 to 13 said they resented feeling left out when other kids talk about shows and actors on television. By the time they reached later adolescence around age 14 and 15, though, most had come full circle and said they didn’t really like TV and didn’t mind doing without.

For those who want to experience some of the benefits of life without the tube, but don’t feel ready to go cold turkey, Krcmar said she thinks good things can come just by setting limits.

“I think you can have the benefits just by having kids watch less television,” she said. “Be selective about content. You don’t go to a restaurant and let them eat anything on the menu. Instead you say choose something that’s healthy that you would enjoy.”

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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