It seems like people's attention spans must be getting shorter and shorter, because merchants and overseers of public spaces increasingly see the need to provide additional entertainment options beyond, you know, walking and looking around. Take the local mall, for instance. You expect that when people go to the mall they have a certain purpose in mind: if they aren't looking to buy any particular product, than at least they have set our to enjoy the delightful atmosphere of commerce and teenage girls with unique views on what is appropriate to wear in public. So you wouldn't think that they would need to watch tv as they strolled the concourse, but nevertheless someone at Simon Malls Inc felt the need to hang flat-screen sets from the ceiling every dozen yards or so for the length of the mall. And they don't even show any good shows, either! Just taped 30-second segments of Good Morning America and Dr. Phil. Don't they even get cable?!
Clearly, it's a response to the omnipresence of tvs in our lives. They figured that if, in the battle for your entertainment minute, they wanted to compete with the DVD player in the back of your SUV, they needed to throw in a little video of their own. The gas station is trying too, but they're a little behind the times: all they can manage is canned music, interrupted with ads for the very business at which you're already filling your tank. Heaven forbid anyone actually takes a moments to reflect on life's finer things while pumping gas or exploring the halls of commerce.