There are some great things on telly, don't get me wrong. News and educational stuff; Mad Men and The Darling Buds of May etc.. but the very fact of having this haunted fish tank , this uninvited guest, this intruder into our private lives, this bad baby-sitter, this hijacker of our imaginations, this thief of time, this divider of family members, is a big part of the social problems that every country with electricity is facing today. It isn't what is on the TV so much as HOW you watch it. For the ignorant and uncultured person, television is the infallible guide of thought and action. In another house it may be a small and unimportant aspect of an otherwise busy life. For the fanatic, television is reality.
When it comes to children, fiction writers such as CS Lewis and Terry Gillingham have said how TV is a killer of the imagination. Scientists tell us that you use more energy dreaming than watching the box. Sociologists tell us that a rise in violent crime is, in part, due to the numbing effects of being able to turn off the telly when we are required to feel empathy.
Is it simply the case that like alcohol, television within a fractured social dynamic is bound to exacerbate the problem?
What thoughts do people have on this?
This is as silly as saying that cigarettes kill, or cause cancer, or cause heart disease. What crap that is.
You can sit there holding one cigarette or even a package of twenty for as long as you want to and not one cigarette will ever do you any harm not ever.
Dave,I'm not quite sure what your point is. Am I missing some clever sarcasm? I'm being a bit slow, sorry.
My point is that you are blaming an inanimate object for all of this, when in fact it is the parents who are to blame.
Well, yes I agree, if a parent lets TV raise the children, they are at fault. Although I do think that TV is a bad influence in itself, and seeks to be such. If the TV media have people more interested in the box than in each other, they've done their job right, if you know what I mean.
How can you say that? How can you blame the machine? It takes a human to turn it on. It takes a human to set the channel. The machine by itself will do nothing but sit on the floor or hang from the wall or whatever and do nothing.
I do agree with you that it is an inanimate object, but what if people don't think that it is a bad thing? But unlike cigarettes, it does infact feed you with biased information or even corrupting information. At the end of programmes a voice says "don't go away, coming up next is. ..."
lizzie: there you go again blaiming an inanimate object for the choice the person in effect makes. The TV won't feed anyone anything by itself. A human has to turn it on. A human has to set the channel. That same human can shut it off or change the channel if they so choose to do so, and who cares what that voice says anyway, you don't have to do as it says unless you choose to do so. You cannot blame the machine for your weaknesses any more than you can blame the cigarette or package of cigarettes you hold in your hand for making you anything more than stupid to have it.
Yes but we can't turn our back on people who have an addiction, however stupid it is. There are all sorts of reasons people watch too much TV. Often it's cos they don't have friends or they live in a high rise in a dangerous part of the city and can't get out much. Often they don't know that it's a problem.
Lizzie Please do not try and tell me now that watching TV is addictive. This is pure crap. The people you are talking about now still have choices they can make, like turn it on, or off, change the channel, do something else like a hobby. Lizzie you are making excuses for these people. You are an "Enabler" a crutch for these people to lean on and the more you enable them the more they will depend upon you to do anything and everything for them.
It is addictive. Why else would people sit staring at it for days t a time?
We can blame the purveyors of alleged news, extreme fighting which rivals the Roman gladiators and is worse than dog or bullfighting, crappy soaps, violent crime shows and other sensationalist drivel, e.g., Nancy Grace and the guy who entraps pedophiles for the entertainment of perverts and sickos. (I have a mental block about his name--he's from my home town.) Thanks to GoogleSearch--Chris Hansen's "To Catch a Predator." There's hardly a limit to how low the networks will stoop to get eyeballs.
You cannot blame the poor machine for what you choose to sit and watch. You can't blame the producers who produce these programs for what you choose to sit and watch. The guilt lies in you and you deciding to turn on the TV and turn to any specific channel or program.
Watching TV is not drug induced, nobody holds a gun to your head and says watch. Life does go on without the TV. We need food to survive. We need water and air to survive. We do not need the TV, not now not ever. We choose to turn it on and we choose to tune in.
I can blame or criticize anyone I choose to blame--Fox "News" and its advertisers for purveying lies as news, and also, as you point out, those who are dumb enough to watch it. I assume you aren't saying all TV programs are equal. I'm merely pointing out the inferior ones. My privilege. It's called criticism.
Thank you Ralph. Once you turn the TV on, you are not driving it like you drive a car. It drives you, with misleading information, bad examples and materialism. We are not all so strong that we can simply ignore fun things, and the put-upon mother cannot always be blamed for using the TV to keep the kiddies quiet while she cooks and cleans. We shouldn't expect the telly to parent our children, but at the same time it would be nice to know that it wasn't going to feed our children's minds with the biggest load of hoopla the minute your back was turned.
I don't think Izzy's blaming the TV set. That would be silly. If anyone's to blame it's people like Rupert Murdoch, and other producers and purveyors of what passes for entertainment and news. [There's a lot of worthwhile stuff on TV also. But you have to search for it.]
I agree, TV is a curse! Children shouldn't even be allowed to watch it until they finish High School.
Well, I don't know. But I certainly think TV is part of the obesity problem.
Stop blaming the TV. It is the parents that are to blame relying on the TV to act as babysitter and pacifier for kids. TV, PC, CELLS, what's next to blame. Get the kids off their butts and into activities that they can benefit from mentally and physically and take away the toys and pacifiers you have provided to keep them quiet and out of your hair you lazy good for nothing parents.
But what if the parents don't know better. People go on and on about healthy food so everyone knows (whether or not they choose to listen) but with television, the influence is more all-encompassing. For some people it is everything: morality, reality, family....the thing in which they seek refuge is very problem sometimes.
If the parents don't know any better then they should not be parents.
Or alternatively, we raise awareness of the problems and through positive discussion, inspire change.
OK so lets raise awareness but in the process let's stop blaming the inanimate object in this case the TV, for the unawareness and the lack of ability to properly care for the child. The supposed adult/parent that could care less what the child is watching or doing so long as the child is not bothering the adult/parent is totally to blame not the child not the TV, but the parent.
The thing is, the TV isn't just a machine in the same way as a toaster is. It is a medium through which people present a view of the world in the guise of unbiased and necessary information. One of the problems with it is that it stands in competition with family and friends. If an adult is hooked on the perpetual stimulation that television provides, it is likely that their child will fall into the same trap. Television producers have no ideological issue with the fact that whole communities have more of a relationship with their remote controls than their neighbours, and so they don't label the possible side-effects too much television can have, the way tobacco companies are obliged to do about their product.
The enslavement of people by television companies is intentional. That's how they make a living. They have very successfully created a need, whilst providing us with entertainment and it is not in their interests to suggest it isn't good for us alot of the time.
Wrong Lizzie! the TV is just a machine, a machine that is controlled by its owner. The owner chooses to turn on the TV and chooses which programming to watch. The TV will do nothing but sit there like a toaster until the owner puts it in use. Granted producers set up programming and target responses from the viewing audience, but still the TV owner has the ultimate power to turn the TV on or off and change the channels. The TV cannot do any of this by itself. If the owner is that weak-minded that they allow the machine to somehow gain control of their faculties and their ability to reason, they shold not have a TV then.
I agree with your thoughtful comment. I watch too much television myself, read too little and don't get as much exercise as I should.
Television is an alpha wave generator that soothes the mind.
Only for those who are genetically disposed towards it.
I think that many a childhood has been robbed by television.
I think you go a little far; although, I must say, it was beautifully stated. Tv spurs thought on topics one might not have previously considered, conversation on social issues that need to be adressed and it can open a window to the world for people. There is no arguing that television has changed the face of society in the free world and beyond.
But, the dark side does have some of the characteristics you outlined. One of its worst accomplishments, in my mind, is how it has caused people to isolate themselves from their community. I read a study, years back. A remote Canadian town in the late fifties finally got tv. They monitored its effect on the fabric of the community. Club memberships plummeted. Community involvement declined. Within the course of one generation neighbors became veritable strangers. All due to the introduction of tv.
Emile, I'm not surprised in the least by that study. You can see the effects in the villages and towns of every country. When you read Elizabeth Gaskell or J Austen, or Little Women and Laura Ingles Wilder (it's sentimental I know), you know that we can't go back there. We've lost our innocence somewhat.
Definitely lost our innocence. I remember when my son was small. I made a concerted effort to ensure he never watched anything age inappropriate at home. Of course, I'm sure he got to see things at his friend's houses; but I always assumed the lack of constant bombardment played a major role in maintaining a level of wide eyed innocence. Some of his friends seemed wise beyond their years at an uncomfortable age.
Sorry for delay just there. We don't have a television. It's not some superior thing, we just feel that there's enough to battle with when bringing up children without inviting further influences into the home. And also, it really does steal away hours and hours of precious reflective time. Appropriately enough, I was just off to watch some chamber music at a nearby stately home. I'm not even kidding, but seriously, that's the kind of thing you do when you're not watching Eastenders.
Thanks for the nice compliment btw.
TV is seems is for entertainment purposes only. Far from the ideal of the BBC when it started back in the 1920s, which concentrated very much upon education and culture. Watching some of the rubbish on today though, makes me wonder why TV now concentrates so much on the basest form of entertainment. Personally, I rarely watch TV, but spend most of my time online, where there are many intelligent debates and documentaries, especially on Youtube. Check out some of the Intelligence Squared debates, they really get me thinking.
The BBC are very naughty. TV has become largely a form of commercial hypnotism and children's programmes seem to have too much yelling by the presenters to the accompaniment of inane pop music.
I've watched a few of the intelligence squared debates. Mostly due to a slightly masochistic crush I have on Christopher Hitchens.
I was listening to NPR on my way home from work the other day and they had a short blurb on some new research being done.
It had content of what happens when there is too much 2D watching; TV, computer, internet, video movies and games, etc.. that it stresses the mind and body and impares executive functioning of the brain. It also stops the dual hemisphere (right and left brains working together) functioning. there is so much information out there, but few have put all the pieces of the puzzle together and shown us the complete picture.
Then again, because everyone's lifestyles vary, there are varying effects on individuals
There are many non-mainstream books out there that have talked about these kinds of things for years, just since TV. But now we have many 2D watching machines. It is dulling to the mind and body and shuts down desire to be involved in real life activities.
The Japanese and parts of SE Asia have already started therapy groups for video game addiction and it is part of their psychological diagnosis system. there have been children harmed by parents who were so involved in their own video game playing they neglected and /or abused their children.
All you have to do is spend one day with a kid that spends too much time watching 2D stuff to recognize the "afflictions". They don't respond to your talking to them, can't take their eyes off the screen, can't answer a question, They are mesmerized...it happens to me all the time!
I am addicted more to the computer, then television. Television makes me sleepy! lolol:D The scripting is apparently bores me on many of the television shows.
Any links to actual research? Human IQ has been steadily rising for decades. I, personally, watch TV the whole time I am home and not asleep and it doesn't seem to have retarded my career as a research scientist.
Well, aside from the obvious effects on communities as sited above by Emile, and the imposter in the corner of every living room, and the fact that we're all growing fatter from eating too much then sitting down for too long afterwards, I don't have a link, no.
It sounds like you're one of the lucky ones, unless your research is in something like average rainfall in the Isle of wyte, in which case it would be hard to judge whether it was effecting your communal skills.
LizzieBoo, I've have worked with people that literally screamed and cried with their television was not working, I kid you not. I'm like "okay, read a book, go out, do something active, get a hobby." So when you say it takes over the mind, I agree. It's scary to see people attached to tv like that and just allow themselves to become addicted to it.
Calling it obvious doesn't make it true. It is not obvious to me. What is obvious to me is that in developing nations IQ has been going up, and violent crime down, for many decades. Society is actually doing rather well.
My current area of research is anti-social behavior and violence. It doesn't correlate with TV viewing, in case you were wondering.
This is a spot of good news. Good news is always nice.
I have felt it is improving from the little I have gleaned, and am pleased to see agreement.
My grand-kids will often describe their friends to me, not mentioning that they are black, Asian, blind, deaf etc. as it simply doesn't occur to them to discriminate.
We are moving on, and I love it!
Well that is good news, if that IS the news.
I am surprised to hear that society are doing rather well. There wasn't much to recommend social-cohesiveness in the riots around England recently. Although rioting indicates a cohesiveness of sorts, I suppose.
Does anyone really still all day long, eating junk food and getting fat, while watching crap on TV? All the folks I know who are sitting around all day long, eating junk food, getting fat, and watching crap, are doing it while on their computers.
@ Dave Mathews are you not addicted to the computer screen? Do you not now get most of your information and opinions from TV or the internet? You Also have the option to not look or listen, no doubt you can't do without either too long. They both substitute for human contact and inter-action. most of us are influienced negative or positvely daily by those drugs of choice.
Most of us are weak minded and depend of other for information and education. It depends on who you listen to or read for mental developement.
Well, this is the thing. We are weak and we are susceptible to pleasures. Watching telly is a great, relaxing, absorbing pleasure that is incredibly captivating. Sometimes after watching alot of TV, the real world can seem less real and dulled somehow. Television companies do a great deal to entertain us, but they also go further. They exploit and cash-in on our weaknesses and fill the screen time in between the rare moments of triumph with every kind of morbid, violent, mawkish, voyeuristic pooh which make us ashamed to be human.
Like I said before, it's not so much about what you watch but HOW you watch it. Sure, reading a book or having a conversation is vastly better for you, otherwise, force yourself to have an original perspective on what you see. TV producers cannot be relied upon to take the moral high-ground.
Watching TV and doing drugs are choices made without the a threat of death. What ever people do every day and night become a habit that can only be replaced with another habit. TV is a powerful tool and a companion that won't be ignored by millions of people world wide for ovious reasons.
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