Thursday, May 21, 2009

TV: Good or Bad?

In a way, answering this question is just as nebulous as answering whether people are good or bad. There are brilliant, enlightening and educational programs, dazzling dramas and hilarious comedies. There are also utterly forgettable shows and really cheesy time wasters that make me wonder why anyone would ever watch them. And in the end, the answer can be as simple as there are tons of choices, watch what you want.

Yet there is one other factor in life it has influenced. If we do not depend on TV for our entertainment, we would probably spend more time with other people, live and in person.

Before everyone had a TV, it was more common to find that in the evenings people might talk or play cards or make music or dance, take walks, or find some other way to spend time together.

Today, many people just have the TV on all the time and let the broadcast wash over them. There have been times in my life when I have asked people to turn the TV off so that I did not have to compete for their attention.

You don't really need the company of other people to watch TV. Yes, there is a time for both visual entertainment and spending time with others in conversation or some other shared exchange of ideas and energy. TV has influenced that about us. Choosing consciously how much time we spend with TV or engaged with people is a quality of life decision.

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