Cognitive Surplus: the time freed from watching television which can be enormously productive when applied to other social endeavors.

Clay Shirky – Author of Here Comes Everybody

“I was having dinner with a group of friends about a month ago, and one of them was talking about sitting with his four-year-old daughter watching a DVD. And in the middle of the movie, apropos nothing, she jumps up off the couch and runs around behind the screen. That seems like a cute moment. Maybe she’s going back there to see if Dora is really back there or whatever. But that wasn’t what she was doing. She started rooting around in the cables. And her dad said, “What you doing?” And she stuck her head out from behind the screen and said, “Looking for the mouse.” Here’s something four-year-olds know: A screen that ships without a mouse ships broken. Media that’s targeted at you but doesn’t include you may not be worth sitting still for.”

I know that this is true of my own life since my introduction to Facebook. Since Mark Zuckerberg walked into my life, I have spent less hours centered around the TV and more hours at my computer. Needless to say, a Facebook friend introduced me to A nifty little site that allows you to watch any TV show, Any time, Anywhere, commercial free. The hour I used to spend watching House has been cut to 42 min. I can still send that hour, but I can squeeze in a an episode of the Office or a few emails or possibly a FB chat with someone. All in the time it would have taken me to just watch House and a few million ads.

I was out hiking with a group of friends this weekend and they were talking about a commercial they had recently seen. I was out of the loop on that one. They all laughed and said that I would have to watch for it. When did ads become something I am actually looking for? I mean, yeah, the superbowl ads are great (sometimes). And, yes, those e-trade babies are cute, but to actually sit and watch TV, so I could see an ad, so I won’t feel so left out in conversations? Come on… why do that when I can watch my TV shows without Commercials and still see the E-trade babies on Youtube. (Yes, they have their own Youtube Channel. I mean, they are stock trading Babies.) I would just as soon go online, search for this commercial (that my friends seem to think is so hilarious) and watch it online. Oh, wait…. I just proved my point…. well, Clay Shirky’s point anyway.