An age of watching TV

Scene: The family is sitting on the dining table and watching a movie on TV. The mother is trying to tell the children that they need to clean their rooms as some old family friends are visiting the following morning. The children seem to be listening. And then, she’s asking the husband to call the electrician for fixing up the exhaust fan in the kitchen (she’s having a tough time working in the kitchen without the exhaust fan working). The husband nods, apparently understanding the amount of trouble she must be having working with the cooking…….

After ten minutes, it occurs to the lady that no one seems to be paying attention to what she’s saying and there are many ways in which this scene can end:

1. She adds TWO tasks more to her list of “to-do” for the coming day: Call the electrician, and clean up children’s room, realizing that if she doesn’t do it, it won’t get done in all probability.

2. She starts speaking LOUDLY so that the children and husband listen to her! Maybe, even shout at them or switch the TV off…..

3. She ignores the tasks and thinks, if THEY don’t care, she doesn’t either.

4. After the TV viewing is over, she REPEATS the instructions to the children and husband and hopes that they would’ve listened this time……

Now, different people would respond differently to a situation described above. As for myself, I would respond in way 1 (I guess that’s why I’ve listed it first). The point is not that I am fond of taking up responsibilities of other people. But that I see all the other approaches as futile. The situation I’ve described above is a very common one these days in families (I’m sure all of us feel it at one point of time or the other).

So, is TV viewing eating up on time that families can spend together learning about each other, communicating with each other, helping each other solve their problems! In short, COMING CLOSE TO EACH OTHER!!!!!!

My views may be heavily biased against TV viewing as I am absolutely not fond of watching TV. I watch TV once in a few months and find TV viewing a sheer wastage of time (except for occasionally watching Nat Geo or Discovery or some News Channel)……I don’t even remember when was the last time I watched a movie on TV……so, the point is that there’ll be people who’ll advocate watching TV as a source of education and information. I have nothing against their views. Everyone has opinions and those who don’t have, I don’t even consider them!!!!!

So, I am not saying that one must stop watching TV……I literally find myself abnormal in not liking TV……….but HOW MUCH AND WHEN is the question. Indeed, we can learn a lot if we watch TV, but how much of stuff on TV is worth watching? How many of us sit down and watch something worthwhile on TV?

So, I was talking about the quality time of a family being eaten away by this seemingly harmless Television Set sitting in our living rooms!!!!!!! The time that can be spent talking with family is whiled away in watching either two men fighting, ready to draw blood, or two women plotting against each other, or someone quizzing for winning a crore (or some similar astronomical amount)……………. I am sure a big percentage of people view TV showing one of the above….

As such, with both parents working, children don’t get to spend much time with them and with the TV invading, they go further away from parents. Sharing of feelings, narration of incidents (which is VERY important for children venting their feelings out), sitting together just talking of future plans and problems being discussed…………..everything is done with a TV constantly running in the background. With the TV as a distraction, there’s divided attention comnig into picture and one’s never sure if one’s heard properly.

So, what’s the solution? Throwing the TV out of the house? Yelling at children asking them NOT to watch TV? Ignoring all that and carrying on with whatever you’re doing? Letting your husband watch TV and chatting away to glory on phone with your friends? Won’t THAT just widen the canyons already being dug up by the changes in life-style of a typical urban family???



  1. Karthik said,

    April 9, 2006 at 2:59 am

    Very valid point brought up by you. Ya, tv viewing can cause serious damage to communication between family members.

    A someone said, only when the tv konks out for a week do we seem to realize how interesting people can be!

  2. Pritesh said,

    April 9, 2006 at 3:12 am

    I agree Karthik!!!!!! I think interacting with people, playing outdoor games etc teaches children much more than TV can!!!! It can never substitute for things done with one’s own hands…….

  3. Sneha said,

    April 12, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    And these screens or laptops are another addition to this problem

  4. unforgiven said,

    April 14, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    TV does more than just damage communication within a family. It gives people an outlet to be dumb. To stare at a screen for hours together and to be able to manage with barely using their brain at all.

    I don’t watch TV. I have a lot of free time. I don’t go out (in Bangalore, have no friends here). What do I do?

    Play my guitar.

    If my TV had been plugged in and I were to watch it, what would I have done?

    Watched TV

    Hell, I wouldn’t even *sell* TV’s. I’d feel its too similar to selling drugs.

  5. April 15, 2006 at 12:10 pm

    Its a nice but partially vaild as well partially invalid reasoning…
    evrey thing has pros and cons…..and if its not the case then name a thing which is PERFECT. ya…TV does kill the important time which can be other wise spend with kids…parents….etc…but then had TV/ internet etc..not been there how could we ever would have thought of all communicating views …sharing idea…..distance are No more the barriers…lady !!…

    PS: I have all your blogs…in this page, but if u don’t mine let me point ur too sercastic…negaitve of life….lookin only about the darker side…and trying to explore too much into it…just enjoy the small little things in life….and then…we may all see change in thoughts in your blog space.

    Happy Blogging

  6. Pritesh said,

    April 17, 2006 at 1:53 am

    Thanks Vijay………for your candid comments. But I guess you missed the point. I was not talking about NOT watching TV. I was talking about excessive and mistimed watching TV!

    Excess of everything is bad!

    And I guess I am not as negative as I sound from the blogs. I just choose to write when I’m feeling negative! Venting out is how I put it! 🙂

  7. unforgiven said,

    April 17, 2006 at 6:23 am

    @Vijay: There are no advantages of telivision anymore that aren’t surpassed by better and less harmful mediums.

    And oh, please don’t say “oh, but it has the discovery channel!!” The Discovery channel is a commercialized travesty on the name of true science. The history channel does the same for history.

    Communication? In the age of the internet, could you seriously suggest that TV is still a medium of communication of any significance?–>

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