Why Television is Addictive
Kicking the Habit

This article explains the trick used to make television addictive.

    Television has a most curious quality. Many people notice that, while watching television, they are bored yet attentive at the same time! They don't really like what they are watching and feel somewhat disinterested, but, they keep on watching anyway.

    Have you noticed that television has a hypnotic-addictive quality that causes you to pay attention and be bored at the same time?

    The reason is, your attention is held through the exploitation and perversion of a survival instinct. It is your nature to be on the lookout for:

Highlighted Events

    For the most part, your life goes on at its usual slow, boring pace. Nothing much happens. There is no news of dire events, no shoot-outs, no plane crashes in the next block.

    "Highlighted events" are those rare occasions when something unusual happens.
Unusual events demand your attention! For example, perhaps, you are walking down the street and a car screeches to a halt; a tire blows out or a dog overturns a trash can.

    A sudden, unexpected situation, could be life-threatening. You have to pay attention. You may have to act quickly to stay alive or avoid harm. Being alert for the unusual moment is a survival instinct.

    Because of your survival instinct, any unusual happening, a Highlighted Event, will grab and hold your attention for at least ten seconds. Therefore, to grab and to hold your attention, all television has to do is artificially create a series of Highlighted events.

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The great time thief.

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