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Killing me softly on TV

Updated on November 29, 2015

Television kills the art of conversation. Yes people stay "gob-smacked" and just watch in delirium. This is especially the case if there is good television content to watch including film, series, features and news, mind you "bad" television is watched as well for lack of anything else to do.

In spite of the many communication tools that are available, including the net, television may still be regarded as the single important apparatus that kills the art of conversation; this might not be a bad thing, but it becomes a one-way channel.

In most of the cases people just switch on the television and become glued to whatever happens to be in front of them. It is called quality of viewing, or you would think. I know there is a lot of "viewing trash", but there is also very good animation on the box that immediately hooks and grabs you.

It is these programs that kill the art of conversation, with dialogue moving from one-to-one or one-to-whoever-happens-to-be-watching to one-way communication, just listening. Individuals, young and old, male and female establish a rapport with the "talking" television, liveliness with moving pictures; its actually becomes surreal but in a modern fashionable sense.

It becomes all eyes and ears with one-track attention and listening in a unilinear direction and approach. While not quite becoming hopeless zombies, nevertheless the art conversation becomes culled, unless you want to hitch up a dialogue with the television in which case people might think you are slightly eccentric, but in our funny world, being an eccentric might be delightful.

But leaving the funny bits aside, a relationship develops with the television set. Human interaction is reduced to odd murmurs, monosyllabic comments and occasional laughs here and there. The full concentration on the insidious television box that seems to control our minds and senses, our feelings and perception and what's more of a pity, we enjoy it and its thrills.

I dare say however, this may be cultural, civilizational and value-centered. It alternates between the extended and the nuclear families with the latter becoming more television-centered because the heads of the households, mother and father, increasingly revert to the television as their siblings grow older and leave home. They have each other and they have television, a sort of triangular affair.

While there might be some truth in that, the issue should really be thought in terms of quality programming about what is best and most exciting rather than just "quantity" viewing. It is the "hook-on" effect, and strongly contributes to killing the art of conversation, although we live in a "communication, talkative society" that is based on high tech interaction.

While this is the case judging from the communication tools and technological gadgets, we as humans are influenced by outside factors, and instead of sticking with each other, we are very much influenced by technologies and tend to be driven by it.

At the end of the day technology controls our lives, our relations, our interactions with one another and even what we say to each other, and how we say it. If in the end we stop talking, it is technology, and through one medium, television, that must be the culprit.


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