Television, please use responsibly.
I follow several “conspiracy open your mind” type webpages and a few on Facebook. They are very entertaining and often informative because they share unpopular news and views that you aren’t going to get off main stream media. These pages usually post a lot of anti-TV pictures and articles talking about how TV is making Americans stupid and/or turning everyone all into “sheeple”. I disagree that TV is the problem. Humans have a long history of enslavement from a multitude of outlets. It is human nature to be obedient and to avoid conflict. TV can act as a drug like anything else. Movies and TV shows move people emotionally and allow people to turn off their head for a while like other form of entertainment. TV and movies invoke strong emotions and is a great distraction from life.
TV is not the almighty evil people paint it out to be. Like so many things, it is about using in moderation and good judgment. TV doesn’t make you stupid, a sheep, or obedient. The people who watch TV irresponsibly are going to do so because that is who they are, what they want, and/or what they need. There is not enough personal responsibility given to individuals today. If children are watching too much TV and bad programming it’s not the TV’s fault it’s bad parenting. Some people shop too much, work too much and then some watch TV too much. Being consume completely by anything is a bad thing. If one is a “TV drone” as an adult, they are a product of their choice and don’t need to be judged.
Sometimes people need to just veg out, shut down and chill. Not everyone enjoys reading. Television can be a good escape and a way to relax. Studies also show that it really depends on your personality type. Introverts actually respond well to TV breaks feeling more relaxed and refreshed. They tend to seek out solo activities like reading, going for a walk or watching a movie. Introverts also enjoy company of a few close friends or a partner to a large group. This makes movie and TV time more enjoyable to them. Extroverts can be drained by too much TV time and sitting. These activities zap their energy. Extroverts typically seek out large groups and more involved activities and thrive off such energy. Age also plays a big factor in how TV time affects you. For children is comes down to having responsible adults who can moderate what is watched and how much time is spent watching it. Using TV as the babysitter is not a good thing and likely going to affect a child in many ways not just in dumbing them down with unsupervised viewing.
I also think natural energy levels make a big impact on how productive people are and how they chose to use their time. We are all different some of us are go-getter type people and some are the complete opposite. Then you have all those that fall in-between. We all have a place and a role to play in life. The general problem isn’t TV it is that people get out of the habit of thinking for themselves and let what the TV tells them be their only source of information instead of seeking out other sources and questioning things. Society’s sense of reality is based on headlines, quick news clips, unrealistic TV shows and celebrities. It goes back to human nature to just accept things, be obedient and avoid conflict. Again, this isn’t the TV’s fault because we have free will and personal responsibility. The demand for certain TV, movies and programs such as violent movies or bad reality TV are a reflection of people and society not the other way around.
For many reading is the almighty defense against the dumbing down of people. Reading has great benefit there is no questioning that. Remember, it depends on what one reads just like what one watches. Non-fiction informative books aren’t exactly unbiased and unfiltered information either. Books are ones persons or a group of people interpretation of something. Most of the time people seek out a book to read that fits their already ingrained ideas and views. I don’t think most people will seek out and read a book that goes against what they believe to be true. Fiction books are great leisure reading but no different than watching a fiction movie. All children should be encourage to read. All reading, even leisure reading, is a good way to build better grammar and writing skills as well as increase imagination. That does not mean that a movie or TV show doesn’t ignite imagination and critical thinking skills. Remember it is about balance.
I guess long story not made short, blaming TV for making people stupid is more needles judgment. There is no need for finger pointing and arrogance. Believing that because I do “insert whatever here” and you don’t I am better and smarter is unproductive and negative. Like everything else in the world someone gets an idea holds on to tight to that idea as being the one thing that will be the downfall or savor of the world. Just as many studies show TV increases intelligence as there are stating it decreases intelligence. I guess it depends on who’s funding the study and what they want the outcome to be. Humans are diverse creatures. Some people love to read, some watch TV, others play video games, listen to music, or learn quantum physics. We need to stop ridiculing others and finding blame. Lift people up and encourage them no matter what their outlet and they will find success. Success that fits them and who they are, not what society or individuals think success should be.