Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Something You May Not Know About Me

By Jamie Koonce @charcuterielove

Something you may not know about me (but I’ve been criticized heavily for it)…Something you may not know about me — which is also something that I have been heavily criticized for by some people — is that I stopped watching TV in 1999.  I’m not really aware of what shows are on now (except for what I’ve heard from people talking about the shows they watch), and I don’t begin and end my day with a ritual of learning everything “bad” that’s happening in the world (AKA the news).  The truth is that when I went off to college, I simply didn’t have time for watching TV.  I knew that if I sat down to watch just one sitcom, I’d end up sitting in front of the TV for hours to watch the entire evening line-up.  At my college undergrad, there was a name for people who could be found in front of the TV instead of in the library or the lab on weeknights: Five Year Seniors (people who took more than 4 years to finish their degree).  I know there are people who are exceptions to the rule, but as a pre-med student, I personally had to study for long hours to make A’s and to graduate with honors after 4 years.

Many have argued with me that TV can be educational, and I’m really missing out by not being able to watch the Discovery Channel, History Channel, Mythbusters, the news, political debates, etc.  While I agree that there are some worthwhile programs on TV and it’s important to be aware of current events, it is the nature of TV watching that can re-wire your brain and actually lower your IQ and ability to think critically for yourself.

TV watching is an entirely passive experience in which you are being spoon-fed information in short sound bites, and frequently interrupted by advertisements that subliminally tell you contradictory and false information: Buy this mascara or have ugly lashes and no friends; Eat this hamburger, fries, and Coke or feel hungry and un-hip; Be skinny like this supermodel or else you’re a big fat blob; Eat this candy bar and drink this sports drink for satisfaction after a long hard day; Don’t miss this exclusive report on such-and-such celebrity’s latest nose job, etc.

The average adult was believed to have an attention span of about 20 minutes (which is not very long), but nowadays some adults may have attention spans more like 20 seconds or even less.  This means that if you’re trying to learn a new concept that takes longer than a few seconds or a few minutes to explain, you won’t learn it.  You will only be able to comprehend very simple factoids — much like the simple concepts explained in TV soundbites.  It’s one reason why there are so many problems in this world that seem to have no solution; people simply don’t take the time (nor have the ability) to think critically about our problems to reach a simple solution.

If you feel like your attention span might needs a boost, or if you’re constantly fading in and out of conversations, or feeling like you “don’t get” some concepts very easily, you might want to check out Focus Fizz.

It’s a nutritional supplement that contains many of the factors needed for attention and focus, and of course it’s gluten-free and soy-free.

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