tvSmarter – Life in a TV Nation




Jonah Lehrer wrote an interesting article called Daydream achiever on the importance of daydreaming.


After monitoring the daily schedule of the children for several months, Belton came to the conclusion that their lack of imagination was, at least in part, caused by the absence of “empty time,” or periods without any activity or sensory stimulation. She noticed that as soon as these children got even a little bit bored, they simply turned on the television: the moving images kept their minds occupied. “It was a very automatic reaction,” she says. “Television was what they did when they didn’t know what else to do.”


The problem with this habit, Belton says, is that it kept the kids from daydreaming. Because the children were rarely bored – at least, when a television was nearby – they never learned how to use their own imagination as a form of entertainment. “The capacity to daydream enables a person to fill empty time with an enjoyable activity that can be carried on anywhere,” Belton says. “But that’s a skill that requires real practice. Too many kids never get the practice.”

2 thoughts on “Daydreams

  1. Thank you, this subject gets me going: How the tele-imitate-me-vision does such a wicked job of keeping people from looking within.

    I so appreciate this article. I was going to teach a sand sculpture class through a community college extension ten years ago, but the class was canceled because of lack of interest. The basis of the sand play was to help re-attach the mind and the spirit to our natural state of creative being. Sometimes known as survival and existence… Or also sort of like the day of rest that got tossed out in favor of the 24/7 go, go, go, lifestyle insanity, where people, young and old seem to burning themselves up in extreme hyper-activity.

    Indeed, time out so the vital creative imagination can exercise its importance to our ability to think both flexibly, and reflectively. Perhaps even survive immense challenges by using our innate capacity to look at things with new perspectives. Gee, does that sound like our current world?

    What this country really needs, is a “Do Nothing Day.” I even started talking to a few friends years ago, that we have to re-learn how to spend time doing nothing. But of course, they thought I was nuts. It is rather challenging in this current dysfunctional cultural advent, to be an anti-workaholic… I even suggested a “Do Nothing Month” but the perpetual growth GDP pundit experts stuck on their carousel that is going ever so faster probably will not listen until they start getting thrown off, along with a lot of other people. Lehman Brothers…? Maybe the advent of our current model of failing capitalism on steroids, will force a natural restoration of knowing what time out means…

    And, maybe, if people come to realize that doing nothing, is actually doing something much needed to actually learn how to truly see reality, and our ability to exist within a miracle of our profound universal matrix, then the arts that inspire the tool of day-dreaming will be honored again.

    This post reminded me of a book I read awhile back by H.G. Wells, titled, “Floor Games.” It was written for his children to help instill the gift of imagination. Psychologists later used the concept to develop “Sand Play” therapy. A rather rich way of helping people get in touch with their critical inner mind and spirit, so they could heal themselves…

    Time out for mind play = Health and well being. Hmmm, what a novel concept considering that the multi trillion $ U.S. health care industry is teetering on complete collapse…

    And to take this a step further, and also boggle the minds of contemporary education and commerce modelers, whom most do not come to terms with realizing that one of this country’s great thinkers, did some of his best critical, and creative thinking when he was day dreaming: Albert Einstein.

    While I am not thrilled with this country’s current challenges with energy supplies, I am actually hoping that the severity of this oil consumption crisis will possibly mean four day school and work weeks to save on energy bills and strapped budgets. Then I wonder, what our nation would do with an extra whole day sitting on the table…


  2. I read your posts for a long time and should tell that your articles are always valuable to readers.


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