Now we are ready to
Ninety-eight per cent of us in Britain have
a TV set in our homes and, according to the
experts, we rarely turn it off. In fact, the
average viewer watches as much as 25 hours
a week. Television informs, educates and entertains
people. It also influences the way people
look at the world and makes them change their
Primary school teachers are complaining of
youngsters’ inability to concentrate and their
need to be constantly entertained. Some students
do their homework in front of the television
set. Others rush through their homework so
they can watch television. It would seem that
too much TV is to blame.
Watching too much TV can lead to the ‘lodger’
syndrome. Some husbands come home, sit in
front of the TV and simply don’t communicate
with their families at all. Even when programmes
contain nothing negative, it’s not really
a good thing for so many families to spend
whole evenings glued to the box.
However, there is another side to the picture.
For the lonely, elderly or housebound, television
can be a good thing, being a cheap and convenient
form of entertainment and a ‘friendly face’
in the house. It can be an ideal way to relax,
without necessarily turning you into a TV
Television doesn’t just entertain, of course.
There are times when it can be informative
and can provide a source of good family conversation,
e. g. TV programmes featuring various cultural,
historical, political and artistic issues.
For example, The National Geographic documentaries
have recently become very popular.
Informative, useful, entertaining and relaxing
— and yes, banal and boring — television is
all of these. But if we’re not selective,
surely we have only ourselves to blame. TV
can be a part of family life, but when it
becomes all of it, maybe that’s the time to
reach for the ‘off’ switch.