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Side effects of the plug-in drug

April 23, 2008

There is a great article in the New York Times about the effects of too much TV viewing.

Two things in the article really stood out to me. Children who watch a lot of tv develop a “two-minute mind”. This means anything they have to think about, they don’t want to because they have developed a limited attention span. Children with a two minute mind are impatient and have trouble organizing their thoughts.

Also, children who view a lot of tv are much more likely to take up smoking. The article did not go into this fully, but I have some thoughts about it. Anyone who starts smoking knows how addictive it is, but, not just physically. Smoking is something you can do in two to five minutes. Smoking calms your mind if you are feeling jittery. Smoking “gives you time to think.” Smoking gives you something to do with your hands if you feel nervous and smoking gives you a reason to go outside if you are in a room or situation that you want an exit from.

For someone with a two minute mind, I can see how having a long conversation, being still for a long time, or being patient would be difficult. Smoking gives such a person a perfect crutch.

I know tv viewing and smoking are big issues with a lot more sides to them. It’s interesting to see how in this one way, they go together.

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