|Daniel. Photo with his authorization|
At the market (in Paris, Sunday morning), I buy two kilos of peas ("petits pois"). Daniel, the greengrocer, comments while serving:
"That's great. Now you have an excuse to watch a video on the sofa, have a drink while you pod the peas".
Green peas, stringing beans: TV encourages healthy eating habits! In our grandmothers's time, all the family would share these tasks, chatting around the kitchen table. No TV, family time.
There is also knitting, sewing, ironing - all household tasks which reduce the TV opportunity cost - even cooking if there is a TV set in the kitchen (you can pod the peas during the commercial pods).
The Web will probably never steal that show. But most of the peas now come to the kitchen in cans. Too bad.
This is not an anecdote. What is amazing, and revealing, is that green peas can spontaneously bring to mind and connote television viewing. It says a lot about television as a complement to tedious chores. Television has become a complementary media, less and less independent.