Friday, July 31, 2009

TV as Background Music

I've always defended my parents' decision to let me watch a shitload of television as a child, with the reasoning that they also made sure to involve me in lots of other activities, including getting me outside and to the library. And I became an editor, so you can't really say it decreased the amount I read or decreased my cognitive ability.

However, one thing I have noticed as someone who routinely did her homework while watching the telly is that I often leave the TV on for background noise. I'll turn it on when I get home and leave it on until I go to bed (go ahead, be horrified). Unless it's a particularly good episode of Intervention, however, I'm probably not paying too close attention.

I've noticed that some shows make better background shows than others--Law & Order and the Golden Girls, with their familiar lilt, make it easy to only half pay attention. Yappy shows like Family Guy will just be distracting. When I've had easy freelance work to do (and back when I was doing homework), I liked to watch a favorite movie, so I could relieve myself from the tediousness of the work by keeping myself entertained at the same time.

Luckily for me, my college roommate was also someone who grew up watching tons of TV, and so is my boyfriend. We're happy to turn on the tube, then talk all night. It's ok, we're not really paying attention to it.