Why TV is Bad for You
As a kid I remember talking to one of my friends at school who was upset because his parents revoked his television privileges for a week for “being bad.” (Whatever that means.)
I retrospect, this is probably one of the better things that happened to him as a child. After all, he pretty much lived and breathed Transformers and He-Man (oh, the 80’s!) It seemed like nothing much ever came from him that wasn’t “fed” to him from television.
Children are extremely impressionable and unique people. We become less and less “unique” as we age as our purity gets eroded by the bombardment of culture and society. Though adults often insist that structure and order are essential parts of childhood, and that children need to become “responsible members of society” I am amazed at how many of them simply sit their kids down in front of the television and walk away when raising their kid becomes too “daunting.” Or they medicate them, but that’s another story entirely.
TV is the anti-child. It sits there and entertains, sends a message, and the child watches without having to use his own mind. TV tells a kid what to think, how to react, and what is really important. The box becomes a big link to the outside world when children are not at school. But more importantly it stifles creativity. This kind of “dumbing down” of creative energy is what leads to the very essence of career mediocrity that so many people suffer with today.
We are getting to an age now where television is departing and being replaced by the internet, video games and the like. These have an advantage over television that they are interactive activities. You can be creative and do all kinds of things on the computer. And video games even have some of their merits. Dance Dance Revolution is the first video game that’s getting people into shape everywhere. Really!
As we incorporate these “distractions” into our daily lives more and more it is important to distinguish the interactive elements in them from the passive elements. This is why television is such a problem. It is passive. Nobody got anywhere in the world by being merely entertained. Plenty of people have made significant strides in life from starting a website or creating an online business. This is a different story. If you hate your dead-end job, don’t waste your time in front of the television. It will only make you feel and act more helpless and powerless to change your situation. And your creative powers will slowly erode.
Children and adults do have one thing in common after all:
We are susceptible to the same kind of mediocrity.
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