Clay Shirky on the free-time revolution

Sep 30, 2010

Internet guru Clay Shirky doesn’t care what’s on TV. Just how much time Americans waste watching it – about 200 billion hours collectively, every year. But there is a quiet revolution taking place. For the first time, young people are watching less television than their elders. They’re substituting computers, mobile phones and other internet-enabled devices, and generating media instead of just consuming it. Shirky calls this change a “cognitive surplus,” a vast amount of time and talent that could be applied to shared problems and civic action. What would the world look like if more of us quit TV? Has technology given you more free time? If so, what are you doing with it?

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