Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Watching Television Is Like

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Watching Television Is Like

Article excerpt

Many years ago I heard Neil Postman tell about an assignment he used--tell students to come up with their own metaphors about watching television. I have been doing it ever since, and I always find it fascinating what people come up with. Take my class from Spring Semester, 2013-30 students in Media Aesthetics and Analysis at Ithaca College. I tell them to select a metaphor, and then apply it to a show. (Technically, they are selecting a simile, television is like....)

Sixteen of them said that watching television was like doing something. Two people said it was like riding a roller coaster. Two people said it was like opening a present. Two people compared it to baking something. One person said it was like eating a mystery flavor of lollipop. And one person said watching TV is like watching the weather--it is always changing.

Seven people compared watching television to interpersonal relationships. Three people said watching a familiar show is like greeting an old friend. One said it is like finding the right girlfriend. One person said it is like falling in love.

Three people thought watching television is like going on a journey. It is like taking a brand new hiking trail, or going on an adventure, or taking a vacation.

Three people compared watching television to an internal state. Watching television is like dreaming, having a dream, or like solving a math problem you cannot get right away.

I thought it was interesting how many of the metaphors-similes involved being active--doing something, relating to people, traveling. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.