Paul Lachine

Národ vidiotů

NEW YORK – Uplynulých padesát let bylo věkem elektronických masmédií. Televize přetvořila společnost ve všech koutech světa. A dnes se k televizoru připojuje celá exploze nových mediálních zařízení: DVD přehrávače, počítače, herní konzole, chytré telefony a další přístroje. Stále větší počet důkazů nicméně naznačuje, že toto mediální šíření má bezpočet nežádoucích důsledků.

Spojené státy dovedly svět do televizní éry a dopady této skutečnosti lze nejpřímočařeji vidět na milostném vztahu Ameriky k tomu, co Harlan Ellison ve slavném výroku označil za „skleněný prs“. V roce 1950 vlastnilo televizní přijímač méně než 8% amerických domácností; do roku 1960 už ho mělo 90%. Dosažení takové míry penetrace trvalo jinde o několik desetiletí déle a nejchudší země k ní nedospěly dodnes.

Američané se také podle očekávání stali největšími konzumenty televizních pořadů, což pravděpodobně dodnes platí, třebaže data jsou poněkud útržkovitá a nekompletní. Nejlepší důkazy naznačují, že se Američané dívají na televizi v průměru více než pět hodin denně – to je ohromující číslo vzhledem k faktu, že dalších několik hodin tráví před jinými zařízeními nabízejícími vizuální zábavu. V jiných zemí sledují lidé televizi mnohem méně. Například ve Skandinávii dosahuje doba strávená před televizí zhruba poloviny amerického průměru.

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