Originally Posted by Andy H.
My pet SWAG theory is that we're genetically hardwired as a species to sit around and stare at a flickering light. That's because our ancestors' relatives that didn't like sitting around the fire got yanked from the gene pool when they wandered off into the darkness and were eaten by a saber tooth tiger or died of exposure. I mean, how else can you explain the popularity of reality TV without completely losing faith in humanity?
Actually, you're on to something there. I read a study recently that said that the sudden flashes of colors, cuts from scene to scene, etc., actually stimulate the same part of the brain that instigates our flight-or-flight response, and focuses our attention on the "threat". TV companies hire behavioral psychologists to figure this stuff out in order to hold our attention longer.
..All I know for sure is that I ditched the boob-tube three and a half years ago, and besides the first few months of habit "withdrawal", I haven't looked back, and don't plan to. Mysteriously, my bank account has also grown since I stopped being exposed to all those commercials.