After a long day of work, turning on the tv is a good way to zone out and relax. Although we all know watching television is in many cases procrastinating, what is being found out is how much watching tv is procrastinating on making a better future. Americans alone watch about 200 billion hours of television a year. Clay Shirky, author of Cognitive Surplus, believes that the hours where our brains are “zoning out” while watching tv can be better spent making the world a better place through things like online collaboration.
To put it in perspective, the online scholarly collaborative Wikipedia is a result of only 100 million hours of effort. As an exaggerated hypothetical, if Americans alone stopped watching tv for one year only, they could collectively create 2000 Wikipedia-sized projects. If people around the world cut back even slightly on their tv habits, I’m sure we would start to see some great new innovative projects to help better the world.
Check out Clay Shirky’s book on the subject: Cognitive Surplus