Peter Fox

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Should TV be banned on one day of the week?

I haven't had a TV for fifteen years. I have a life. When I visit friends the TV is permanently on and sometimes with the sound turned down out of politeness to me. Yet when I ask them about current affairs or what was on their must-watch news program last week they can't say. To those that 'only have it for the documentaries' they can't discuss what they've seen a week later and the program was unlikely to have dwelt on 'difficult' issues long if at all.

So let's face it - TV is entertainment. Yes the news is entertainment too. Just think what people could do if they had 24 hours each week away from their dependency? Visit Aunt Flo, go swimming, learn the banjo, even read a book! Instead of watching some dumb cartoon the kids could be doing different things to suit their different ages. Instead of Aunt Flo vegetating in front of day time TV she's out shopping buying the ingredients, then making tea for the grandchildren then playing games and telling them stories. Add your own examples of benefits arising from taking people's comforter (or dummy) away.

So should Thursdays, say, be TV-free by national black-out?

  • Mar 25 2013: I have only a few shows per week that I watch & most of them are wildlife docs.
    My tv is off most of time due to yard work, art, and other activities (which includes being on here.)
    Colleen does have the right of it: there is a switch on that TV.
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      Mar 27 2013: Thanks Gale.....maybe people forget sometimes that they CAN control the amount of time spent with the TV? I agree....there are a LOT more preferable things to do than watch TV!
  • Mar 25 2013: I'm with Colleen. We should give our kids quizzes on the material they watch and if they miss 15% they loose TV time and and anything more than fifteen% is exponential in TV time loss.
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    Mar 24 2013: Hi Peter,
    Rather than banning TV, I'd prefer to see people actually evaluate the value they get from watching so much TV, and decide for themselves what it is worth. Who would enforce a ban on TV? That doesn't seem very reasonable anyway.

    My TV is off for the summer, so for about half of the year. In the winter, I do watch news, weather, and documentaries on public TV. There certainly IS a lot we can do when not watching TV, and watching TV is a choice.....or not.
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        Mar 27 2013: Hi Kate,
        I am aware of addictions because I have a couple of my appears that I may at times, be drawn to TED as an addiction (to devote or surrender to something habitually or obsessively).

        As I'm sure you know, there are many different levels of addictions. I don't agree that people "have little self control". I suggest that they often do not evaluate the situation on a level deep enough to change the behaviors, and they give up their choices.

        One of the first steps in recognizing addictions is awareness? If we are aware of the challenge on some level, we may recognize our ability to make better choices.

        There was a time, years ago, when I became habitually obsessed with the gardens, and was in the gardens sometimes even before the sun was up, until after dark. I sometimes forgot to eat or drink anything. Although the work/play in the gardens provides a great deal of exercise and pleasure, it was apparent that I was compromising my health with TOO MUCH gardening!

        There have been times, when I was so involved in a conversation on TED, that I ignored other tasks that needed to be done.

        In my perception, these are not bad addictions, but they were interfering with the balance that I seek in my life, which I think most addictions do. When I asked myself the questions and evaluated the situation, I changed the habits/addictions, to create more balance.

        In my perception, TV is not a bad thing, and when insightful, intelligent people say things like "I would really like to stop watching TV" I suggest asking the does this serve me? What is the benefit derived from watching something that I don't really want to watch? How can I change the situation?

        As long as we say we have little self control, that is the reality we create for ourselves and we continue with the behavior.
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        Mar 29 2013: Thank you Kate:>)

        There are some really serious addictions which may cause people to have less self control. I just don't see the TV in that light, although I DO observe lots of people saying they want to stop watching TV or surfing the internet, and they just cannot stop!

        I firmly believe that as long as folks say they cannot stop, that is the reality they create for themselves. If they truly want to change the behavior, they CAN be more selective about the TV and is a choice....hit the on/off button.....or not:>)
  • Mar 28 2013: I like the idea of not watching TV for one day, but I'd take it a step further and ban the use of the internet, emails, facebook, twitter,texting, computers and cell phones...give your full attention to some activity, for one full day (24 hours) that doesn't involve the use of electronic devices and social networking. Have a entire day when you are "off the grid", no one can reach something for yourself or be with someone else and only with them, no distractions, for one day. Just think about how dependent we have all become on having the use of our phones and computers, on a daily basis....these devices have, for many, replaced their TVs.
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    Mar 25 2013: great question. I haven't had one for thirty years. Wonder how it is in Israel where they take a sabbath day of rest every week, cause on the sabbath I believe you should turn off all machines or maybe I'm wrong.

    Obviously there are major benefits to a once-a-week blackout. On the other hand, some will say they should have a right to it, that others shouldn't impose a blackout. I'm probably with the second group, that as much as it would be beneficial I don't think we should impose it on television stations to black out.

    Maybe, Peter, you and I are blessed to have a rich enough inner life that we don't need the TV. Maybe others aren't as blessed, so they need the stimulation of the TV.
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    Mar 24 2013: Great idea! Better if it were only on one day per week. U-Tube also.

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      Mar 24 2013: Peter,
      If you'd prefer to have it on only one day per week, there are buttons with which you can control that:>)
  • Apr 6 2013: No
  • Mar 30 2013: ......from Nielsen
    The average American watches 35:34 (hours/minutes) of TV per week

    Kids aged 2-11 watch 25:48 (hours/minutes) of live TV per week

    Adults over 65 watch 48:54 (hours/minutes) of TV per week

    -to some this looks tolerable. To others, it looks insane.
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    Mar 30 2013: G'day Peter

    I'm a little bias on this because we don't watch TV so the TV in my mind should be banned period, we once, as a family unit, talked & read together, what do we have now? Segregation for starters however I wouldn't force my views on others as they have their own reality/mode of thought to live by.

  • Mar 26 2013: i absolutely agree about TV-Thursday-free...
  • Mar 25 2013: I am a big fan of television. I believe that tv is a great invention. Earlier days people watch to know stuffs, but now they have many sources like internet. Many people are always hooked to their tv sets, now that is harmful. I believe that tv should be banned for whole one day a week. I also love watching tv shows, but this is important to save the chilhood of your children, make your daily life more healthy & fun.