Thursday, November 09, 2017

Gas station TV

Who thought it up? Why is it so loud? Why can’t you turn it off?

Tonight, after leaving a wonderful talk by Dr. Katie Mack on gravitational waves at the Museum of Natural Science’s weekly Science Cafe, I had to stop for gas and rolled my eyes when I saw the Gas Station TV screen. Ugh.

But this one was turned way down so I wasn’t immediately assaulted by talk noise. I glanced at the screen.

Word Of The Day.

Wait, what?

And the word of the day was:


One of my favorite words.



(shhhh... maybe gas station tv doesn’t have to be so bad after all)


Calm, Forward, Straight said...

TV in your home, on your computer, in your car, on your phone... at the gas pump. I fear for a society that can't spend 30 seconds with their own thoughts. But serendipitous is a grand word. :D

billie said...

I know - totally agree. We went to a talk early this year about research that looked specifically at cell phone use (surfing the web, checking email and messages and FB, playing games, etc.) and the fact that people rarely ever allow themselves to get bored anymore. So during the times when previously our thoughts might wander, we pick up the phone to avoid that.

The researcher is still looking at other aspects of this and says she feels that boredom and wandering thoughts are what fuel creativity and deep thought and that by losing that “bored” mindless time we are hindering our ability to go into that deep work phase, what another author called “flow” and what yet another one calls “deep work.”

It’s a sad thing and if you think about it, explains a lot of what I would consider stupidity in the modern world. I think we’re losing the ability to come up with real solutions to problems. I am not one who is glued to my iPhone but otoh I get sucked in enough that I know it’s a real danger. The original researcher’s suggestion was to wean yourself off the things that particularly suck you in, and try hard to maintain some time when you’re just not plugged in at all.

I think we have to truly value the creative benefits that come with pondering, woolgathering, and one of my favorite words and activities, puttering. And the idea that some of our “work” time should be structured as deep work so we give our brains a chance to go beyond the surface of problems.

Anyway, I could go on and on about this - a favorite topic. Thanks for perking up my brain on this Friday morning! :)

Grey Horse Matters said...

I totally agree with the researchers. I try to not be too into my phone,ipad etc. No tv during the day, who has time anyway. I like to be quiet and I'm not a phone talker, don't text much unless necessary. In short I like to be alone with my thoughts or animals or family. I can't believe how many people I see chatting or texting on phones in cars. And unfortunately, I'm noticing my granddaughter(12) is always glued to her phone. I won't let her do it while we're in the car and try to engage her in conversation which is becoming a lost art in our society. Okay, that's it for now I could gripe about this all day. Have a good weekend.

billie said...

I used to be a huge phone talker before I had children but once they were born it just didn’t work anymore. I love email because you can do it when you have time and can sit down and type - am not much for texting though I do it because that’s the only way I can contact some people who don’t do email anymore! It’s convenient for certain things, I admit, but not for ongoing regular contact. That said, I think it has been a lifesaver in terms of keeping in touch with my son once he went to college.

I agree about wanting to be alone with thoughts, animals, and family. We watch 1-2 TV series as a family - an episode most nights with an occasional binge if something gets exciting. I am watching a TV series with my son via an app he installed on our desktop so we can watch at the same time and talk back and forth while we watch.

The smart phone seems to be the main method of communication and connectivity for young people these days - I’m not sure what I would do if I had young children now - when mine were young cell phones for kids were just not even considered. They both had computers but we got rid of the TV cable and watched Netflix (back in the old days when you had to wait to get your next DVD by mail!) and that worked well.

It’s interesting to see how much things have shifted with the advances in technology. And hard to measure the benefits vs the problems with overuse.

You have a good weekend too!

Matthew said...

I could deal with gas station TV with the volume off and "word of the day".

That's about the only way I could. I am tempted to Edward Abbey the next blaring obnoxious gas pump I come acress...

billie said...

I was there today getting gas and although the volume was still low, there was no word of the day!