bm242 The Effect of Television on People

Throughout the world, television is still a constant companion for millions, if not billions, of people. Yet in the age of the internets and iphones, there seems to be little discussion in the media about the significant effects TV has on the human brain and creativity in general.

 Mitch Altman likes to be provocative and he loves tricking people into choosing to do that which they actually WANT to do versus what television or groups of people tell them to do.  His invention, the TV-B-Gone has become a global phenomenon, and in this podcast we talk about why the television could and should be turned off, and how brain waves work.  We also get into the effects of television on children, the importance of meditation, and much more.

8 thoughts on “bm242 The Effect of Television on People

  • January 9, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Jeez, this guy’s a phony. “A TV being on or off is a choice,” he says. True, but apparently he means it’s HIS choice, and not the choice of anyone else around him when he’s got his little gadget. If someone wants to watch TV, that’s their decision. If Mitch is around a running TV that doesn’t belong to him, maybe he should just leave.

    We get it, too much TV is bad. But it’s not up to some dude with a remote control in his pocket to unilaterally decide for us when enough is enough. He should find better ways to push his anti-TV agenda.

    • January 10, 2008 at 6:54 pm

      David – I admit, the first time I heard about this thing (and I’m someone who doesn’t regularly watch TV, and I hate it at public places), I did think “isn’t that kind of rude and invasive?”

      But honestly, it’s just a remote control that turns a TV off. It doesn’t spew propaganda or give speeches about why TV is evil. If the viewers really care, all they have to do is turn the TV back on.

      What I like to think about is that maybe the viewers WOULDN’T care. Maybe they wouldn’t even notice (I’m thinking about TVs in places like bars/cafes), or maybe they would, but be happy about it! If this little remote control helps a few people have better conversations, than I think that’s fantastic. The device itself is harmless – if someone really wants to keep watching TV, it’s not going to stop that from happening.

  • January 10, 2008 at 10:38 am

    anti-tv agenda… thats a fun phrase that may come up in the political realm in the coming years.

    But if you think about it David.. you go into plenty of places where a tv is in your face and you have to tolerate it if you need to be there for something. Example, in amsterdam some cafes (few but some) have TV’s in the background running commercials or MTV or something. its a cafe where you go to talk to friends and enjoy food… those two things you expect.. but now you have to deal with this TV blaring loud content over your conversation. Having the power to turn that off liberates everyone in the room that is trying to enjoy a drink or food with a friend.. or even on their own.

    thats just one example.

    I recommend making your own device to turn off tv’s and keep it with you, use it when you feel like it, and then come back and let us know if you felt like you were ruining lives… or.. improving them.

    and hey.. lets not call names… i discourage that in favor of useful comments and dialogue which obviously youre also interested in.

  • January 11, 2008 at 1:35 am

    OK, no more name-calling. For the record, I’m no fan of blaring TVs either. If I were in a public place where MTV was drowning out my thoughts, I’d simply leave. Heck, there are plenty of restaurants here in San Francisco where the decibel levels of *other people’s conversations* (thanks to hardwood floors and high ceilings) preclude me and the Mrs. from having a normal conversation. You know what we do? We don’t go to those restaurants anymore. Works like a charm.

    By the way, I don’t watch all that much TV myself, and I hate to say this — but my 4-year-old watches the occasional TV program (one half-hour show a day, at the very most), and all I can say is… WAIT ‘TIL YOU HAVE KIDS! 😉

  • January 12, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    when i was in phoenix a few months ago for a funeral/celebration it was the first time in a long time i turned on a tv. scary shit man.

    @david p: i Have kids. five kids. we don’t watch tv. we have “dumb” tv’s that play what we play on them. yes, sometimes they play (non-shoot-’em-up) video games on them or watch films. or we all watch films together.

    it creeps me out when you go to someone’s house and the tv is on. all the time. no reason.

    i love those tv b gone things. i want one if i go to the states again. airport sports bars full of stupid pricks. wouldn’t want to go through security with one though, i got enough problems. zombies.

    interesting about the alpha waves. will give this more thought. everyone i know who i admire and can think doesn’t watch the tv.

    and david p.: you can choose what your kid is watching instead of indoctrinating them into the consumer mindset asap.

  • January 12, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    “Stupid pricks?” “Zombies?” Mark, how come you’re not critical of *this* name-calling? 🙂

    And just to be clear, I *do* choose what little television programming my kid watches.

    • January 12, 2008 at 9:34 pm

      madame l has special privileges on this blog. No no.. its more like, Im only critical when its insults directed at comment-leavers such as yourself.. gotta make sure everyone feels welcome. I mean… some people anyway.

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