Do we require a TV?

“(Radio) broadcasting is a permanent part of the machinery of modern life. It has come to stay and universal television will soon be a practical proposition. There is too great a tendency to regard everything which is new as of obvious benefit to mankind. But in our opinion, the BBC has not only done harm to children but to everyone else who listens in. The effect of broadcasting as a whole is bad because there is too much of it. The inveterate listener is in danger of losing the capacity for personal effort. He is liable to acquire a habit for mental laziness. In the long run he may even cease to think for himself. A spoon fed generation goes from bad to worse” – Daily Mirror, England, 1945.

The above quote is about radio, but it equally applies to TV as well. I have not had a TV for the last two years. So, its actually possible to live without a TV! I heard someone telling in a debate that, ‘While a book lets you to imagine and fuels your creativity, a director imagines/ thinks for you in TV’. I have always felt it was right!  

“I find television to be very educating. Every time some one turns on the set, I go to the other room and read a book”Groucho Marx

Whenever I see people watching a TV, they see the comedy shows, movies, sports, sensational news or serials. Though I agree that a TV is meant for entertainment, what passes as entertainment (and the amount of time spent watching it) is unjustifiable. Imagine how the kids get glued in to the box to watch their cartoon serials for hours together – at an age when they ought to be playing and developing some inter personal skills.

“Television has done much for the psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it”Alfred Hitchcock

When you watch a joke once or twice, its funny. But when you watch it a hundredth time (especially some of the vulgar ones), you can’t help but wonder if they are funny. And if it is funny even the hundredth time you watch it, there is something going wrong somewhere else in your life! I don’t even have to say how ‘real’ these reality shows are! Why such a name in the first place?

“The one function that TV News performs very well is that, when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis, as if there were”David Brinkley

Sports. In India, sports is Cricket. When I was young, I was so much in to watching the cricket matches (they were rare then) that I once worried – ‘What will happen if an exam comes on the next day of an important cricket match? That’s because, I wouldn’t have been able to revise/ study for it! Just imagine the plight of the kids these days – Just now the world cup was over, the IPL has already started! And these two are happening in the time when final exams are generally held!

“Life is a theater; Cinema is art; Television is furniture”

Less said about movies, the better! No wonder, TV and movies are such a good match! I really wonder, what happened to those meaningful movies that we used to watch earlier in DD/ even in the Cinema halls? Has the generation gap become so much that I just cannot connect to the crap that gets passed as movies these days? I don’t even want to mention about the violence and vulgarity.

“I could have been a doctor, but there were too many good shows on TV!”

The serials – I had the opportunity to watch about five to six episodes of some of them. You may not believe it, in one of them – The hero was searching for his wife, when the serial ended one day. Then, I missed the second day. The third day, he was still searching, throughout the episode! I don’t know how many more episodes he is going to – I am determined to find out 😛

“The same media that claim violence on TV doesn’t influence people, are perfectly willing to sell you advertising time”

Earlier, I was glued to the TV, when a sensational news broke. I used to sit in front of the TV for hours together before realizing how much time has passed. So, when I had no TV, the ‘sensational news’ came next day in the news paper and I was still fine!!

I am not saying that TV is useless, But its very close 🙂 Of course, when you are alone, and totally bored – TV might be a good time pass. And, I might have overlooked a few good / educative aspects of the TV, but I think the disadvantages overshadow the advantages. What do you think?

Destination Infinity

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20 Replies to “Do we require a TV?”

    1. We always think that we are more fortunate than the earlier generations that did not possess TV’s. We think that we are a very lucky generation. But we have this tendency to see only the advantages of technology, and we never look at the other side of it! There are two sides to any coin. And it applies to all ways of life, everywhere on this earth.

      Destination Infinity

  1. The quote about the radio is interesting!

    Every new gadget faces criticism when it is new! But TV, we are used to it by now. I watch only one hindi serial (which is becoming crap now!) and some reality music shows. My husband and son are cricket addicts and I am getting allergic to the sound of the commentary!

    Remember a comedy strip in some Tamil movie where Vivek is a TV serial director and at present he is directing a mega serial! One day he is sitting idly and his assistant comes and asks him what part to shoot that day and adds that the previous day the end shot was the heroine coming down the stairs! The director says, ‘today shoot the scene where the heroine goes up the stairs!’ So the advantage of the TV serial is, you need not worry about missing 20-30 episodes but the story would have moved just 2 lines after 20-30 episodes!

    Now, TV is used in classrooms to educate children too, D.I. Every gadget has got plus and minuses. We have to use them in the right way.

    1. LOL at the serial continuation idea.

      I do agree that every gadget has its positive and negative sides. But I have been trying to make out how people have been using TV positively. The TV seems to be used more negatively by us and against us. One positive thing is it relaxes your mind (with some entertainment) after an exhaustive day of work.

      Destination Infinity

  2. Wise words, Rajesh. I agree with your opinion that we might be (un)-lucky when compared with our previous generation(s) by having TV as a time passer. I strongly agree that one is better off reading books rather than watching TV. yet, the TV serials seems to hook people by its spice and masala… Addictive and attractive too (as long as one idles away his time) !

    1. There are crap books as well! Yeah, the serials are quite addictive – What ever the situation, the music makes us feel that it is an emergency and the actors always keep their emotions on a high, making them look interesting! But the fact, that the TV has a remote, and people still don’t switch to other channels when these serials are going on, is a testimony to the understanding of human psychology by the serial directors.

      Destination Infinity

  3. I am alway wonder what people used to do when there was no tv.Back then radio was there but if radio was not there how people used to pass their time.

    Tv was a medium to entertain people sitting in their living room but the tv has taken over the lives of people.I feel so bad when kids instead of playing,they watch that stupid cartoon shows and with that they don’t learn anything but their vocabulary is changed.I hate when they try to imitate the words BEN10 says that too in the regional language.

    1. I think people always find some or the other means to pass their time. Like how kids find something or the other to play.

      I am appalled at how much time kids spend in front of those cartoon shows. But, when we were young, I am sure we would have spent the same amount of time, or more doing equally silly things (other than watching TV)!

      Destination Infinity

    1. I too think books are better than TV. But even with books, the subject and the author determines what (if at all) we learn.

      Destination Infinity

  4. Yes true we can live without tv, put it this way the only time i get to see TV is at weekends and that too if i am free during week all i see is NEws when having breakfast thats it … by the time i come home its bed time …

    But i do beleive that using too much of anything is bad .. no matter what anyone says .. and not just TV…

    Bikram’s

    1. That’s right. Put it this way – Reading too much of books is bad. Studying too much is bad. Making too much wasteful money is bad. Hoping to achieve too much happiness is bad 🙂

      Destination Infinity

    1. I didn’t have a TV for the last two years. Now, there is – but I don’t watch it much anyways.

      Destination Infinity

  5. Nice write up Rajesh! Enjoyed the quotes given by great men about TV!
    I think, we were blessed to be part of DD Metro days, when TV was not a compulsion nor there were any restriction imposed on us! Yeah..TV or Computer or Xbox, they just get us glued to that stupid thing! Imagine kids!
    After marriage, we lived without TV until recent now! But instead of getting glued to laptop, it’s better to watch the idiot box…not much strain to eyes, comparatively 🙂

    1. Do you remember the series – ‘The Wonder Years’ in Star Plus back then? I thought it was one of the best serial! because they attempt to contemplate our thoughts and attempt to give answers to some big questions we all have in our minds. They use situations to highlight certain issues and give us a good insight of life and relationships, through story telling. I have never seen another good serial, from then. The theme has either been slapstick comedy or house/business-politics.

      The straining of eyes on a laptop, is a very valid point. I feel the stress of it these days. But unlike the TV, Internet is a Serve-by-request medium. We can request for any information that we need on the Internet, and get it (mostly). But on a TV, we are restricted to multiple (generally useless) channels of programmes. We need to take what they give at that time.

      Destination Infinity

  6. This topic reminds me of the famous debate question: “TV, good or bad?”.. There’s always good and bad about everything. It’s how much importance/priority one gives to such in life, makes all the difference.

    1. Too much of anything is bad. What bothers me is the priority that people do give to watching TV 24×2 (weekends) and during nights when they are home. Its as if, TV is the only thing they can admit in their personal life!

      Destination Infinity

  7. extreme of anything is bad. Not having a TV is as bad as watching crap on it all the time 🙂 because there are good things on TV ..for example who would wanna miss the world cup (cricket /football) and discovery /national geographic channel!! and for a scientific person like u!!

    1. But the bad things on TV outnumber the good things by a huge ratio. But its doing what it is meant for – entertaining. You acknowledge my scientific temperament, but my science teachers never did! 😉

      Destination Infinity

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