Letter: Slaves of the screen

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The Independent Online
WHAT IS Tim Hulse talking about? ("A television is for life", 3 April.) I haven't watched television (apart from chance moments in friends' houses, where it always seems to be on) for about two years and yes, dammit, I am a more rounded person for that.

Many people I meet express surprise and puzzlement: what do I do with all that time? how do I keep in touch with current affairs? (By reading The Independent, obviously).

In my two years of not watching the Devil's Picture Box I have visited places and seen things I never would have had the time to otherwise; yes, read more books; resumed the guitar; studied calligraphy; learnt to draw and to play Go; spent many happy hours reading and writing correspondence with friends in this and other countries; and many other things. There's no Da Vincian conceit here: I don't do any of these things at all well: just at all.

Chickens may like television (actually, according to the researchers involved, they like watching screen savers - flying toasters a favourite), but other studies show that humans watching television eventually have their metabolisms depressed below the level of someone doing absolutely nothing at all. I don't see the advantage.


London SE13