Paul Lachine

Une nation de vidiots

NEW YORK –Le demi-siècle écoulé a été celui des médias électroniques de masse. La télévision a refaçonné notre société partout dans le monde. Aujourd’hui, une explosion de nouveaux outils de communication a rejoint le téléviseur : DVD, ordinateurs, consoles de jeux, smartphones, et plus encore. Mais de plus en plus d’éléments montrent que cette prolifération de moyens a d’infinies conséquences néfastes.

Les Etats-Unis ont entrainé le monde dans l’ère de la télévision, et les implications de ce phénomène sont clairement mises en évidence dans la longue histoire d’amour que l’Amérique entretient avec ce que Harlan Ellison avait mémorablement appelé « le mamelon de verre. » En 1950, moins de 8% des foyers américains possédaient un téléviseur ; en 1960, ils étaient 90%. Ce niveau de pénétration a été bien plus lent ailleurs, et les pays les plus pauvres en sont encore très loin.

Fidèles à eux-mêmes, les Américains sont devenus les plus grands téléspectateurs, ce qui est probablement encore vrai aujourd’hui, même si les données statistiques sont quelque peu sommaires et incomplètes. Le chiffre le plus probant indique que les Américains regardent la télévision plus de cinq heures par jour en moyenne – un chiffre effarant compte tenu du temps consacré par ailleurs à d’autres outils de communication. Ailleurs, les chiffres sont bien plus faibles. En Scandinavie, par exemple, le temps passé devant la télévision est inférieur de moitié.

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