This isn’t the first post I have written asking this question, I have already looked at video games and mobile phones and I found it really interesting discovering their associated pros and cons, so I thought why not take a look at another form of technology. Keep reading to find out what I discovered about television as I ask the question is it a blessing or a curse?
If there’s anything that I miss out then please leave a comment and join the discussion!
Education/information: Television can be a wonderful source through which we can learn about all manner of different things. Whether it’s a documentary, a cooking show, a kids educational show, or the news; there’s no denying that you don’t have to search far on your TV listings to find something which can teach you new information or a new skill.
Exposure: By this I mean the exposure to cultures, ideas, people, and places that we may not become aware of otherwise. Or, if we are aware then perhaps our knowledge is limited and a television show can enhance it. Television can be a brilliant way to gain a greater understanding of the world around us and all who inhabit it.
Bonding: How many of us enjoy a TV show with someone special? This could be settling down with your other half, cuddling up with your child, or even chatting with a friend about a recent episode of a show that you both love. Whichever one it may be I’m sure we can all relate to at least one on this list. It could go further than this though, it could be an ice breaker with a colleague, or a stranger sat next to you in a waiting room. Any one of these reasons show how television can increase interaction and bonding.
Health benefits: This one may seem a little odd to begin with but go with me on it. Television can afford us some escapism, some time to switch off and this can be a brilliant stress reliever. In addition to this, comedy shows, or indeed any show that makes you laugh can help with stress levels and mood in general, which is great for our overall health.
Content: Much like other technology forms there is an argument for the issues of sexual content, crime, and violence and who is being exposed to it. The primary concern regards child viewers and this is where the watershed, (the period between 9pm and 5:30am when programmes deemed unsuitable for children are broadcast) comes into play. With what seems to be a constant stream of complaints regarding the watershed, I wonder if the correct balance has been found just yet. Of course, with children there is also the argument that the onus is on the parents to moderate what their child views. In addition to this there are arguments relating to television content instilling fear, and even encouraging violent/criminal behaviour.
Health: Studies have found that excessive television viewing can result in weight and obesity issues, namely due to a lack of exercise. There are also studies that have linked excessive television viewing to sleep disturbances and even memory loss! In addition to these concerns there is of course the argument surrounding the risk of addiction and the effects that can have on a person, which of course should not be taken lightly.
Social: There is an argument that television can cause an individual to become antisocial. I’m sure we are all guilty of now and again binge watching a show at the expense of spending time with others, and that’s fine as long as it is only now and again. It becomes a problem however when television is prioritised over many social gatherings, meaning an individual misses out on quality interaction with loved ones and increases the risk of isolation and eventual loneliness.
Time wasting: Watching a lot of TV can be seen as a waste of time. If an individual regularly watches an excessive amount of television at the expense of other more important obligations then it can definitely be seen as negative.
Okay, so to sum up, I have a television (pretty much everybody does nowadays right?) and I do enjoy watching it. I’m a sucker for bingeing a series on Netflix, and myself and my other half love to settle down with a film when we can, but, I don’t think my consumption is excessive. And, in my opinion, just like all technology I think it’s all about how much. As long as you aren’t neglecting other areas of your life in order to watch TV for hours on end then I really don’t see any harm in it.
Of course, I believe viewing should be moderated regarding child viewers but for adults I don’t think it’s too much of an issue. I suppose to put it simply it boils down to what is being watched, the age of the viewer, and how long it is being watched for. Strike a good balance and I think you’re all set!
What are your thoughts on this? Would you like to share your opinion on the pros and cons that I have included? Please leave a comment if you would like to.
Thanks for reading, I hope that you enjoyed!
Until the next time…Jess x