Paul Lachine

Eine Nation von Vidioten

NEW YORK: Das letzte halbe Jahrhundert war die Zeit der elektronischen Massenmedien. Das Fernsehen gab der Gesellschaft in jedem Winkel unserer Welt eine neue Form. Jetzt ergänzt eine Explosion neuer Mediengeräte den Fernseher: DVDs, Computer, Spielkonsolen, Smartphones usw. Und es gibt eine wachsende Anzahl von Hinweisen, dass diese Mediendurchdringung zahllose negative Auswirkungen hat.

Es waren die USA, die die Welt ins Fernsehzeitalter führten, und an Amerikas langer Liebesgeschichte mit dem „Glasnuckel“ (so die einprägsame Bezeichnung von Harlan Ellison) sind die Implikationen am unmittelbarsten erkennbar. 1950 hatten weniger als 8% der US-Haushalte einen Fernseher; 1960 waren es 90%. Anderswo dauerte es Jahrzehnte länger, um diese Marktdurchdringung zu erreichen, und die ärmsten Länder sind noch immer nicht soweit.

Entsprechend entwickelten sich die Amerikaner zu den größten Fernsehkonsumenten, und das sind sie heute vermutlich immer noch, auch wenn die Daten einigermaßen unzuverlässig und lückenhaft sind. Die wohl zuverlässigsten Zahlen legen nahe, dass die Amerikaner pro Tag durchschnittlich mehr als fünf Stunden fernsehen – eine erschütternde Menge, bedenkt man, dass sie zusätzlich mehrere Stunden täglich vor anderen Video-Streaming-Geräten verbringen. In anderen Ländern sind es etliche Stunden weniger; in Skandinavien etwa verbringen die Leute nur rund die Hälfte des US-Durchschnittswertes mit Fernsehen.

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