Zen TV Experiment
I've taken the advice of the article and tried observing my own computer use. I notice the sounds of people around me and my spatial position in the room, as well as the sensations of my body. It is difficult to maintain this state of awareness, though, like trying to stay conscious while falling asleep. In other words, I can't do it. Yet.
The part about relaxation and renewal resonated with my experience. I find that being in front of a computer jams my ability to think. I come up with ideas whenever I'm free to be by myself, whether I'm walking around or just getting a snack. Well, maybe writing on the computer is different, but the kind of web browsing that is similar to TV creates a mental state that inhibits my creativity and understanding. It's like the computer presses down and holds my mind, and once I escape to the outside I can see myself and think again. Even observing myself use the Internet gives only a limited context. I know that once I get up and go outside my mind will be much more free.
I have thought about this before. I remember noticing how draining an electronic screen can be. I contrasted this with sound, which is all around and more relaxing for me. My idea was to make a game of only sound, which would incorporate the sounds occurring naturally in the player's environment, and to increase the player's appreciation for the sound that always surrounds us. Here's how I described it in my journal on 2005/01/03:
A game or experience that widens perception rather than focusing on a small screen. Sound is a good example of expanding perception. Focusing is tiring, gives headache, etc., expanding is relaxing.
Sound is all around you and inside you. (You can focus your perceptions on particular sounds though.) Sight is restricted to your field of vision in front, and is often focused - on a page, or a screen. It is also more difficult to produce expanded sight perceptions (VR helmet) than sound (headphones). So sound is a better medium.
It should make people want to find new sounds and take the game to different places to explore new worlds (Pokemon effect). Then they would think differently about sound and all places they go, because they have that extra layer of meaning or pattern recognition attached to different soundscapes (one of the learning principles).
Also, see this essay for elaboration on that last point.
"We no longer do, we watch, and reality is someone else's creation."
I have also noticed a feeling that I am not in control of my own actions, that I am watching my senses, my feelings and thoughts. Especially my voice is something which can seem foreign to me at times. For me, writing is a much more faithful transcription of my thoughts. So you're getting the real deal here! This is a common idea for me, playing with the idea of free will and personality. I don't think this was due to TV or the Internet, as I rarely watch TV, and I never really used the Internet much then.