Saturday, December 1, 2012
Television was the great game changer. Instead of finding something to do outside, people had instant entertainment. Instead of having to watch the newspaper and the radio, people could also watch the TV. Shows were enhanced, now visual. It became a family bonding activity for many people. Today paints a much more advanced picture. TV is now in color and instead of only a few channels to choose from, there are multiple choices. TV and the media have shaped our perceptions of the world in more way than one and greatly shaped our culture.
To be honest, I'm somewhat of an anomaly in my culture and in my family. My family loves TV and the buzz of the TV can be heard at all hours of the day; there are six in our house, including the ones that my grandparents own. We might eat dinner together at the table but the local news is still on (and, when my dad hears a story he takes interest in, hisses at me to shut up). Yet I rarely lay claim to the TV except for the occasional Criminal Minds episode and, to be honest, now that CBS is starting to post episodes on its website, I rarely have to incentive to fight for a claim for the TV (yes, I do have to fight for the TV despite their vast number). Instead, I'm a computer and Internet and, in my defense, it's a tad bit healthier considering how it multi-purpose it is. But, nonetheless, I see the benefits of it.
TV is an easy guilty pleasure for me. I'm sure it is for other peole too. So many shows are stupid, meaningless and you can lose yourself. I've seen so many different shows when I exercise and it's enough to distract me. These producers are definitely pretty excellent at reeling you in and keeping you there.
Recently, I've belatedly gotten hooked to a long ago-cancelled show called Lost. Unlike many show on TV, the writing is great, the acting is stellar and the plot is gripping. I watch it from my computer but still, I'm equally as entranced. I just want to keep watching, watching, watching it and everything else in the day can be wished away.
Sometimes, TV is like that for some people. The flashing lights and the interesting programs can draw them in and sometimes even keep them there. However, most people resort to TV out of boredom and laziness, because they are unsure of what to do. Channel-surfing is an idea that personally seems foreign to me because, on the few occasions I watch TV, I know exactly what I'm going to watch. It's quite sad that some people waste hours of their time watching shows that don't invigorate their mind, shows that they watch because they have nothing else to do. For some people, TV literally makes them stupid, makes them retreat into a dream-like stupor as they stare unintelligently at the TV screen.
That's a terribly sad scenario to me. Many people bash television but there are so many good things that it can be used for. Many people don't receive the full benefits from reading information and so they can learn and retain more from television programs. I'm not only talking documentaries here, of course; fictional dramas and even comedies can implement factual information that can actually make people think. Twilight Zone, though ancient, was an excellent example of this. And yet, mindless reality shows are preferable to this: easier to make for producers and easier for the consumer to swallow. Television, in general, is having more negative things than good for chronic television viewers, making them stupid and even making them fat.
There are television shows that can make the viewer think. There are shows that can be good, can be relaxing, can be something that you can look forward to when you come home. Really, that is what television should do and yet it isn't.
Lost is an excellent, excellent show and one that I'm thoroughly enjoying. When I'm done watching the episodes, I'll be thoroughly disappointed.
Television changed our world. Maybe, with good, engaging, provacative shows, it can change it more for the better than for the worse.