Robert Pittman, who created MTV, attributed the station’s success to the ability of viewers in their late teens and early 20s to process multiple facets of information simultaneously. In television, success brings imitation….
“When Mary Lynn Ryan, who was CNN’s producer at the time, did this the news ratings skyrocketed,” Grimes said. “So it appeared as though Robert Pittman was correct: if you are from 12-22 years old, your brain has learned how to process all these competing messages simultaneously, but people in their 30s and older have not learned how to do that.”
Bergen, however, hypothesized that Pittman’s theory was not correct…. “The human brain is today as it was in the 1880s, the 1580s and in the time of the Greeks and Romans. It has not changed,” Grimes said. “We are no better able to parallel process conflicting information now than we were 300 years ago. So this notion that Pittman had that people have learned how to do that is nonsense.” —Distracting visuals clutter TV screen; viewers less likely to retain content (EurekAlert!)
We’ll be starting our own TV turn-off week, one week late.
Tonight, my son asked to watch The Incredibles again, but I told him we’d play together instead. While my wife took a nap, the kids and I read books aloud, played hide-and-seek, “Simon Says,” and a game of my own invention — “The Obedience Game.” Just about anything can be fun if you enjoy the people you’re with.
Computer turn-off week? I’m not ready for that…