Too Much TV, Too Little Distractions

Reading all this reading about reading has really helped me understand my own studying habits. Sometimes I find myself able to fly through pages of a textbook, understanding everything I read the first time through. Other times, I find myself unable to focus. I don’t think if I was a college student in 1995 that this would have been an issue for me. I believe this because I feel like I’m trying to “scan”, as I do when I’m on the internet, when I’m trying to read a textbook in a hurry with the TV on. Compare this to when I turn off my cell phone and relax alone with my textbook. When alone and relaxed, free of distractions, I find it much easier and effortless to concentrate. Add a screen, my iPhone, to the equation and a shift occurs that causes me to treat the words, pictures, and sections of my textbook as content on a web page. This difference in ability to concentrate is notable and has caused me to reevaluate the way I study.

On a different note, I disagree with the study found in article three of “Mass Media (12/13)” that found when a baby is introduced to a TV their playtime decreases, risking their cognitive skills and attention span. I believe anything in the room with a child under the age of two will serve as a distraction. Any one that has spent any amount of time with a baby knows that when you move, they look at you. When babies hear or see something interesting, different, or changing they investigate and observe it. Children under two are very curious creatures and I found the study to be inconclusive and ending the article with it made me questions the writer’s credibility. Rather than look at TV as an inhibitor for children under two, find a way to integrate playtime and children’s television in a show produced specifically for that younger audience. Playtime could be integrated into this show in such a way that promotes a level of multi-tasking that will be beneficial to children under the age of two. If a child recognizes he has the same toy as a kid on TV and the child mimics what the child does on the TV with his/her toy then this is a step forward and instead of creating a distraction the TV has now effectively taught the child. This also creates a market for a whole product line.

With that said, It may be beneficial to watch a documentary that complements what I’m reading for class if I’m going to try to watch TV while studying.

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