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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?

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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 own...gardening.....and.....it 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 questions...how 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 internet.....it is a choice....hit the on/off button.....or not:>)

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