Television has health benefits. What!!!???

New research shows reading books, watching TV, and listening to music can all provide the social connection you may be missing right now.

Read on

I am going to take this with a healthy grain of salt until I dig deeper. It is, however, an intriguing idea. Neuroscientists have shown that objective reality is mediated through the brain. For example, images on the lens of our eye are actually upside down and have missing pieces that the brain fills in. More dramatically, other species of animals see and hear and smell a different world than humans do. What is a dog smell or a fly see? The atoms and molecules bombarding their sensory organs are the same as the ones stimulating ours, but how their senses and brains process the information is different from ours.

Researchers in virtual reality and AI have proposed that a virtual world could be indistinguishable from the real world. You could be in a simulation right now and wouldn’t know it. Research also shows that sims do not have to be that high-fidelity to cause immersion. So, it stands to reason that your TV families and friends trigger similar areas of the brain as real family and friends do. Otherwise, why we be genuinely upset when a beloved long-running character dies or excited when a villain gets his due? The article makes it clear that real social interactions are the premium version, but we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the value of our TV friends and family. I am going to have to chew on this one for a while…