Gin, Television, and Social Surplus

In the article “Gin, Television, and Social Surplus,” Shirky examines how the increase in time our society spends watching television has affected our society from becoming more productive. Today, people don’t realize how many hours they consume watching television and how more productive they could be if they didn’t consume so much. What shocked me was that an average human in the U.S spends 200 billion hours every year and spends 100 million hours every weekend just watching ads when we can be using this time to do more productive things. People are not aware of how much television they really are consuming and how much they are using their cognitive surplus on unproductive things. Shirky emphasizes that even a small amount (1%) of those who spend their free time watching television, were to be more productive with their time, there would be huge ramifications. I do try to avoid watching television because I know I can be doing more productive things on my free time.

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