Steven Johnson wrote recently in the New York Times Magazine that "Watching TV Makes You Smarter." Oh, how I would love to believe that. Even if it's true, Johnson makes the claim only about recent television programming, not what I watched during my long school vacations. Zero mention of Punky Brewster, MacGyver, or Yo! MTV Raps.
You see, I used to watch up to 12 hours of television a day. I often wonder how much more I could achieve with my mind if I had spent that time reading or, heck, watching paint dry. I sometimes console myself by saying that it didn't rot my brain--there are many types of literacy, and watching so much TV just made me learn to think in a particular way. Maybe not a way useful to the classroom, but a way that will make me wildly suited to some fabulously constructive endeavor someday. For a while I was very interested in going to grad school for media studies. Finally, a way to turn my years of experience with TV into an asset!