Has television been more of a help or a hindrance in modern society?
What would you do without television? Could you still have a quality lifestyle? Would life be better? What did people do before there was television? In a way, would you say you might envy them a little?
There's no denying that our age of instant communication television plays a very important role in keeping us informed. In emergencies, television can provide us instruction and updates of information. But what about the rest of what fills the airwaves? There is so much mindless and useless "entertainment". With cable and satellite our choices become myriad. Some people spend nearly all day in front of the television set.
Thanks to television and computers the journalistic print media are heading toward extinction. Many people rarely read because their time is too occupied by what they are watching. Even children start at an early age with television acting as a substitute for creative play. The problem of obesity is greatly due to the inactivity of watching television and snacking while doing so.
Have you ever been to someone's house where the television is constantly on and conversation is replaced by staring at the television set? Sometimes people will gather for something special like a sports event, but often what's on the television is nothing special. The television becomes like another person in the room and unfortunately this person dominates the conversation.
Even in public places like bank lines, doctor waiting rooms, or even gasoline pumps we are beset by television. As people wait they stare blankly at the glowing screen, evading any attempt at interaction with others and the possibility of an encounter with someone new. It's no wonder that so many people feel a sense of alienation in their lives.
I am reminded of the prescient 1951 story by Ray Bradbury called "The Pedestrian". In this story a man enjoys walking at night. However his activity is not considered normal as everyone else stays inside watching television at night. There is no longer any crime and the populace is controlled within a sedentary existence. The man is picked up by the robot police to be treated as mentally unbalanced.
Could it happen in the future? What about you? Do you and your family watch a lot of television? Have you taken any steps to decrease TV viewing or even eliminating it from your household? What is the best thing about television? What is the worst thing?