Bean Trees

1 January 2017

In modern society, it is very uncommon to find someone who does not watch any form of video entertainment. Television is so common in the better countries in the world and society does embrace it in their everyday lives. If society was asked, “How much TV do they watch daily”? They may give a wide variety of responses. Some the answers may range in between one to possibly even over twelve hours a day! The author Terrance Chiusano makes a statement on how much we are attracted and impacted by watching television in his poem, “The Screen”.

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The video clip mesmerizes the passengers in the plane and got their full, undivided attention. This is in contrast to when the flight attendant acted out the procedures in person. When acted out in person, the passengers just simply looked out the windows, possibly at the engines or even at their hands while the lady was preaching on how to save their lives in the event of an emergency. In The Screen, the passengers clearly prefer to obtain important information through electronic media, such as the movie.

This is because just like in modern society, people want to information to be somewhat entertaining and for it to be presented quickly and precisely. If the message is boring or too long, people will simply stop giving their undivided attention. Chiusano is clearly trying to convey this message. The passengers aboard the plane did not respond to the face to face interaction with the stewardess, even when she was giving life saving instruction should the plane experience difficulties. When the same message was pre recorded on VHS and played on the screen, the passengers responded positively and gave their full attention.

I can call myself guilty for not listening to the flight attendant when she is giving instructions on how to save my life. I am usually sitting in my seat preparing my music, looking out the window, and getting comfortable for the long ride ahead. Another reason why I don’t listen to her is because the event of a emergency on a plane is extremely unlikely. Therefore, to me, this information is irrelevant. Another reason why I do not listen to the attendant is because I have heard the procedures on past flights.

It is the same old instructions just repeated over and over again. I believe that airliners should implement their safety procedures on video, based off of Chiusano’s poem and my life experiences, people are more likely to pay attention to a screen than the person in front of them. Society requires information in a brief, entertaining format. It needs to be interesting in order to captivate the viewer. If something is boring and un-entertaining, we lose focus, fall asleep, and would rather listen or do something else.

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