Has the On Demand revolution and shift to consuming media online affected you positively or negatively as a student? How?
For me, growing up during the late 1990s and early 2000s, watching TV was a pastime done in the living room with my family. If I wasn’t watching TV on our living room set, I was watching some funny clips and music videos on YouTube.
Now I’m finding that with the shift to Internet viewing of TV shows and movies, I am spending less time in my family room and more time in my bedroom to watch any and all of my TV shows. Since TV shows are so easily available to me, I often played an episode of The Twilight Zone, Modern Family, or Once Upon a Time while I did my homework. Or at least, I used to. There are several reasons why I have stopped playing movies and television shows in the background while I work on my school subjects. Three of the most important ones are that I have better focus without the distraction of TV, my grades improve, and when I do choose to watch a TV show I enjoy it more because I’m able to focus only on the show itself.
I used to play music and listen to TV shows in the background as I worked on homework. What I discovered within these recent months is that I had a hard time focusing on my assignments because I had so much noise going on around me. If I was listening to a TV show then I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was writing for class, but when I was writing I hardly heard what was going on in the TV show. Sometimes the silence is too much for me, and I play instrumental and classical music, but without the TV noise in the background I'm able to focus on my schoolwork and get it done more quickly.
I also observed a distinct rise in my grades once I cut out the background noise of TV. While I was a B student on average for my homework, it frustrated me because I knew that I could be getting As in my classes. I understood the material and thought that I had completed my assignments well. While it didn’t occur to me outright that I should cut out TV while doing homework, I found that it was an added bonus to my improved focus and memory retention of my classes’ material.
Now when I want to focus on watching a TV show, I’m able to enjoy the entertainment and give more of my attention to watching the shows I like. I’ve never been a TV addict, and I often miss a few weeks of my favorite TV shows and have to catch up. However, now that I have the time to catch up because I’m not doing double duty with my homework, I don’t feel guilty about spending time watching TV!