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While I was away from the box... (4 Dec, 2014)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:01 am
by aardvark_admin
This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2014/1204.shtml

Why are we giving such a huge chunk of our lives to something as ultimately destructive as sitting passively in front of a large-screen TV and soaking up the advertising and mind-bending dross it delivers into our living rooms?

How many Aardvark readers have kicked the habbit and how many hours a day do the rest spend in this state of mindless stupor?

Re: While I was away from the box... (4 Dec, 2014)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:21 am
by par_annoyed
Not to sound too much like a total wierdo, but there are several conspiracy theories on the web that state that TV is a simple and effective way to both control and indoctrinate the masses, directly and indirectly....

I wonder sometimes whether the core idea this might be true - if you analyse adverts, they are pretty blatant in their abuse of people's fears and aspirations, and a lot of the soaps have thinly disguised morality tales, and outline the ways to behave....IF you want to think that way...

For me, I do watch stuff because it might be interesting, Mythbusters was good, but has definitely gone off the boil in the last series shown, and I notice the lack of proper scientific study in nearly ALL of the programs, with facts being replaced by opinion or 'religion' (using that word in the sense of "this is what the experts say so it's definitely right, so I'm a believer") especially for things like global warming.

My motto - Don't beleive everything you watch on the box, and try to spot the paradoxes and idiocy in what people say.

Re: While I was away from the box... (4 Dec, 2014)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:24 am
by aardvark_admin
I think the ultimate test of whether TV viewing is a worthwhile use of our time is the fact that there are no documented cases of anyone saying "I wish I'd spent more time watching TV" when on their death-bed :-)

Re: While I was away from the box... (4 Dec, 2014)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:28 am
by ukoda
I wonder what they count as 'watching' TV when they tally up those hours? I know it was common for me to have the TV on in the background while I worked if what I was doing was not too demanding of my concentration. The reality is that I seldom look at the screen as you know what you will see just by listening. In many ways it is just like having the radio on while you work in bygone years.

With most of my TV delivered via the Internet I now tend to choose what I 'watch' based on what I am going doing. I pick the lighter weight more fluffy content for while I am working as I know I wont really pay much attention to it. I save the stuff I actually want to see for the end of the day when I have stopped working and want to to unwind a bit before sleeping.

Re: While I was away from the box... (4 Dec, 2014)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:31 am
by goosemoose
Ah but what if you replaced "watching TV" with "unproductive enjoyment" or "downtime" or "completely useless hobby". It could be peoples way of relaxing.
What about :

"Apparently, Americans spend over four and a half hours of every day stamp collecting"

Just another completely irrelevant thing people do. I can't see the problem really, the productivity commission might though.

Re: While I was away from the box... (4 Dec, 2014)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:37 am
by aardvark_admin
The difference is that watching TV is 100% passive -- hobbies generally involve exercising manual or mental dexterity -- and that's a good thing for warding off things such as dementia. Hobbies also generally involve a degree of social interaction which keeps the community alive and functioning -- TV watching can be an entirely solitary activity that keeps you away from others rather than engaged with them.

Re: While I was away from the box... (4 Dec, 2014)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:52 am
by GSVNoFixedAbode
Many many moons ago the living room had the TV on and the family sat round reading books with half an eye on the idiot box. These days, the TV is still on, I watch select content (streamed/via media player/on-demand) with the laptop open reading up via Internet. So still screen-time rather than manual dexterity, but brain is definitely engaged. Perhaps not productive, but brain is certainly engaged.

It does often result in converations like "Wait, what happened then - you catch that?" "Nope missed it as well." "Ok, rewind back 2 minutes and carry on". 8-)

Re: While I was away from the box... (4 Dec, 2014)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:57 am
by Stevesub
[quote="

It does often result in converations like "Wait, what happened then - you catch that?" "Nope missed it as well." "Ok, rewind back 2 minutes and carry on". 8-)[/quote]

Happens a lot in our place when SWMBO is watching TV and I am reading a book which has been my preference forever for evening entertainment. She hopefully has just about given up asking me to comment on what she is watching.

Re: While I was away from the box... (4 Dec, 2014)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:04 am
by goosemoose
aardvark_admin wrote:Hobbies also generally involve a degree of social interaction which keeps the community alive and functioning

Like the hobby of Facebook.

Re: While I was away from the box... (4 Dec, 2014)

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:12 am
by Malcolm
Oh no people wind down/relax in a different way to me The horror, the horror!
I guess this will call for some kind of government intervention.

I would also like to know what they classify as watching TV. Is it having the morning breakfast programs on in the background while getting ready in the mornings? Or actually sitting on the couch attentatively watching Law and Order?