Indeed. It's probably not a good idea to watch Fight Club every day for a week. Or to watch House of 1000 Corpses every day, either. Or Taxi Driver. Or The Sound of Music, for that matter.

It's bad enough you might be watching CSI every week. Or, in my case, Doctor Who. I realized the other day I was more interested in news of David Tennant's upcoming projects than I was in news about my nephew's fall activities. And when you come down to it, it's because I see David Tennant's face for 45 minutes at least once a week, and I don't see my nephew's face much at all unless I visit his Myspace page. And the less I see him, the less I think to slog into Myspace to do so. For his part, my nephew is way more interested in The Hives, whose posters adorn his walls and whose videos crowd his hard drive, than he is in his seldom-seen aunt and uncle.

There's a basic psychological reason for this. Our brains are wired to make us feel warmly towards people we see frequently, provided these people aren't hitting us or screaming at us or otherwise providing negative reinforcement. This ancient, well-meaning but not-very-sophisticated feature in our wetware is based on the premise that if we see a face every day or every week, well then surely it's the face of a family member or neighbor. A member of your tribe. A loved one.

So, if you watch Fight Club every day, you are inadvertently training a part of your brain to recognize Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Meat Loaf as beloved family. At best, this will probably lead you to waste time on the web surfing for their news and gossip. You'll start forgetting family birthdays and anniversaries and start memorizing movie trivia. At worst? Well, you might go a little ... funny.

Make sure that, every day, you're mainly looking at the faces of the people who should actually matter to you: real friends and family. And these people are probably not in Fight Club.

For more reading: "Seeing by Starlight", Psychology Today, July/Aug 2004.