If it’s true that many Americans are lonely, and if it’s true that many lonely people are prodigious TV-watchers, and if it’s true that lonely people find in telelvision’s 2D images relief from the pain of their reluctance to be around real humans, then it’s also obvious that the more time spent watching TV, the less time spent in the real human world, and  the less time spent in the real human world, the harder it becomes not to become alienated from real humans, solipsistic, lonely. It’s also true that to the extent one begins to view pseudo-relationships with Bud Bundy and Jane Pauley as acceptable alternatives to relationships with real humans, one has commensurately less conscious incentive even to try to connect with real 3D persons, connections that are pretty important to mental health. For Joe Briefcase, as for many addicts, the “special treat” of TV begins to substitute for something nourishing and needed, and the original hunger subsides to a strange objectless unease.

E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction, David Foster Wallace