Monday, March 12, 2007

Ubiquitous TVs

Photo courtesy of

I must preface this by saying that I like to watch television. I have a schedule of shows I watch every week and I also enjoy some spontaneous home-improvement show and movie viewing. I am not embarrassed to admit this!

But I do not like to have the TV on as a constant background to my life. I don't turn it on in the morning when I get up, I don't turn it on at night when I get home from work (until I am ready to sit and watch) and I don't have it on unless I am actively watching the featured program.

However, having just returned from a quick trip to the East Coast, I am once again reminded of the constant annoying presence of blaring TVs (usually turned to a news or pseudo-news program) in airport gate lounges, restaurants/bars, hotel lobbies, etc. I feel much the same way about that kind of TV watching as I do about smoking--the choice of the TV watchers to watch TV is intruding on my choice of how I want to spend my time in that setting. I can't ignore the TV any more than I can ignore the smoker. If it were only visual I could turn my head, but the audio follows you everywhere. I would like to read under these circumstances but I've never been any good at reading with the TV on--I like my reading settings quiet (or the noise to be indistinguishable background noise).

Couldn't there be TV lounges and quiet lounges at airports? Or plug-in audio in seats (just use your own headphones)? Just a thought.

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