Thursday, March 29, 2007

In the zone / in a trance

I've noticed for a while that when someone watches television, they're in an altered state of mind. It's almost a trance; the viewer has a sort of slackness to them, a glazed look. People are also in an altered state when they read, but it's not the television trance -- it's a state of concentration. They look intent and focused, instead of slack and unfocused. I've been paying attention for a while, and I've also noticed that people surfing the 'net have the glazed look of passive entertainment, rather than the focused look of active entertainment. And, I've also noticed that gamers have the focused look. I would accept as an axiom that reading is better for your brain than watching television; I wonder if gaming is better for you than surfing. It definitely requires more focus.

I haven't watched enough to discern different kinds of surfing -- I would guess that reading text online is pretty closely related to reading text in a book, but Farking or surfing your friends' MySpace pages is more akin to watching television.

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