A TV Question...

Updated on June 22, 2011
S.M. asks from Lakeside, CA
13 answers

Do you ever think about the fact that every single day more and more people swear that television is bad for kids, needs to be limited, shouldn't be started before age 2 AND, some groups even blame just about most of our crime on violence in tv and teen pregnancy on sex content.... ???

But the whole time this movement or whatever you want to call it is going on regarding children TV is bigger business than EVER? My husband tells me that the thrift stores are full of CRT tv's because people are getting flat screens. Flat screens are getting larger and larger and have more bells and whistles. The internet is full of companies like Netflix and HULU and Red box is on every corner. DVD sales are huge and I can even read my Kindle books on my husbands 47 inch wide television!

If that were not enough, we can even take netflix and hulu with us on our cell phones.

I'm just wondering how we can reconcile the seemingly contradictory cultural shifts going on. I freely admit that I LOVE TV. I like OLD television as much as new television and LOVE all day marathons for shows I've never seen. My favorite way to watch tv is to skip a whole season and then watch an entire season in one day. I don't mind my 11 year old watching tv so long as she is still just as smart and creative as she always has been.

So what are your thoughts on tv, how does it fit in your life and do you have or want the latest and greatest tv's with all the bells and whistles? Do you think people are honest about what they do in regard to tv?

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So What Happened?

Sue, you are right about the crime dramas. I am replacing them with older tv and Christian messages. I do believe my anxiety has increased by the years I've followed those shows. It's also crazy that there are so many of them that a person could watch 10 hours per day of crime drama if they wanted to! BUT, it does seem to me like most people should be capable of realizing that they need to get up and do other things :)

LOL... I hooked my computer up to my husbands tv through the hdmi cable and yes it is AWESOME to read my books on big screen. The only problem is our HDMI cable isn't long enough. I am going to go buy a longer one for those occasions I can make myself get up early enough to read like that.

Amanda... I hope you enjoy your cable free life for as long as it lasts :) I don't find that I need or desire to frame my day around cable. We have it and netflix and hulu as well as audio books, various subscriptions online for the kids learning wise, and just about every gadget known to man so far. But we often pause a show and leave it paused for a day or two before we get back to it. We are a very busy family/daycare and there's just no way we could ever be addicted to anything. In fact, the reason I got turned onto whole day marathons is because I work myself silly until I'm so tired that a whole day of doing nothing is much needed. Since I can't watch a lot of tv there's just about ALWAYS whole seasons that I want to see. I think that's why I am so excited and stoked about being able to watch tv in so many ways.

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answers from Kansas City on

Okay, I agree with pretty much everything you said, but the biggest thing I took from this was that I can read my kindle on my husband's 52" TV...are you freaking kidding me???! That's kind of awesome and I might just do it b/c I can! :)

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Honolulu on

It is not just about "TV."
It is about, technology and its presence in everyday societal uses.
Which has increased per the increase in tech advances...

All technology, is now also, able to be used on many types of platforms and gadgets.
Computers/tv's/iPhones, can all be 'viewed' and used on a tv as well.
TV's are now, technically like a computer.
So, the interchange of all of these tech gadgets, are interchangeable and able to be used, on the TV as well.

It is a total, paradigm shift.
It is, technology being used in many ways and the ability to do so.
It is not, just 'tv' anymore.

I grew up when all these tech advances were NOT in existence. I as a child, loved tv too, and watched it.
I was not addicted.
But it was childhood.
The critiques of tv watching, was not present, then.
I am not old.

The 'new' information about our media and its usage, is now also rapidly changing, everyday.
It is everyday.
New information arises.

Everyone, and every culture, uses and views TV, differently.
Americans, versus, Europeans... they have DIFFERENT tv watching habits.
Americans for example, watch way more TV, than Europeans. And their reasons for watching tv, are different.
It is not, all the same.

And the other bottom line is: everyone, uses TV and media for different purposes. For some, it is inherent in their jobs. For some, it is only a leisure activity. For some, it is their only 'entertainment.' For some, it is educational and research based.

The way you watch tv, versus another individual, will not be the same.

We don't reconcile the cultural shifts... we do what is best for us. There is no mandatory rule, that we have to.... all do it the same.

And, just 'basic' tv's are not generally sold anymore.
TV's nowadays, ARE full of bells and whistles.
The public, expects that.
Because, the public also has MANY other tech gadgets in their ownership and they 'want' to be able to interface that with their TV... and other tech gadgets.
Because- it can be done, now.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think that TV, like most things, is what you make it.

And the best way to make any "thing" work in your life is to keep it in perspective, make it work FOR you, and make sure your MIND is working as you partake/indulge in it.

You know, fire a neuron and think for yourself AS you receive the information--be it a book, television news, internet information, etc. It should be an interaction, of sorts.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I read a book recently that cited research that said we, on average, only watch about 1/2 hour more of TV now than when we were children. So the increase in average time spent with TV over one generation is not very much. But, this doesn't include other "screen" time that we might spend in front of a computer or video games.

The content of TV, on the other hand, has changed significantly. The content of TV was very tame as far as violence and sex compared to what it is now. There used to be rules, but no more. Now we watch CIS and Law and Order, etc. where the rare and bizarre and worst of human behavior is presented repeatedly.

The continual exposure to rare and violent acts has effects on us - our brains, our behaviors, our anxieties. We begin to believe, at a base level, that what we see is real or could really happen. It can give us a skewed view of reality.

BTW - I hate TV, mostly. I would rather read. I have no TV in my home except Netflix, which is streamed to a small TV set through a Roku box. This way I can monitor what my daughter watches, and it's much cheaper than cable.

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answers from Atlanta on

We watch tv and our kids watch tv, but it's not a priority in our home -more of a "if there's nothing else to do and it's bad weather" or "Mommy and Daddy absolutely HAVE to get this stuff done NOW, so you can watch some extra cartoons." People can blame what they want on television, but you can really only take that so far. Most kids causing trouble and having a number of problems (unless it's a diagnosed disorder of some sort), are in that situation because the parents aren't being good parents -not due to television shows they've seen. If your kid sees something inappropriate -it's a great talking point about WHY it was bad and why people shouldn't be doing whatever it was. People also need to closely monitor and research what they let their kids watch! If your 4 year old is watching "Adult Swim" and you thought it was okay because it's animated -then that's YOUR fault. I'm a firm believer in absolutely NO televisions in bedrooms as well.

I'm 41 and my generation watched a lot of tv -and a lot of tv that wasn't for "kids" but we watched anyway. I don't know anyone who did anything terrible or had some awful situation arise from what they saw on tv. I think those stories are few and far between.

Right now my husband and my two boys (ages 5 and 2) are quietly watching Sponge Bob together and I'm having a free and peaceful moment -and I couldn't be happier!

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answers from Tampa on

We have cable and netflix and GOODNESS do we watch a lot of kids things. I know what my daughter is watching - so the kids channels and shows are completely age appropriate. When I allow her to watch adult movies with us, I make sure I repeat often "This is just a movie", and "Yes, some people really are this terrible to others and no one knows why", I will also describe to her on her level what is happening, and am always available for questions.

She's 5.

Eventho I'm sure violent shows and video games ADD to the issue with violence in children, I do not blindly believe it is the main cause. Lack of discipline by parental units, parental units not allowing schools or caregivers to discipline, coddling or turning a blind eye to extremely inappropriate behavior in their children and lack or morals (religion has NOTHING to do with morals!) is the main root of our issues with violence in the younger kids and teens.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I love TV... LOL. As soon as my daughter's in bed, the TV is on! I don't have it on during the day because we have a 3 year old and I only let her watch about 30 minutes a day or sometimes an hour, BUT that's only because she's developing so much right now. I feel like TV numbs her out... I dunno, who really knows? If she were 11, I'd be all about watching movies together! I do watch her silly little TV shows with her and they have some educational stuff on there!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

My TV in the living room is on much of the time on grown up shows. The TV's in the kids rooms are only on Disney, PBS, or Nickelodeon. I have the remotes fixed and they only go to those channels. The kids know which shows are allowed and not allowed. They hardly ever stop to sit and watch a show. They do play all day and their TV's are on.

I dislike having to switch the channels all the time on certain shows that I used to really like. Like Grey's Anatomy, I just am NOT going to explain why 2 grown women are in the shower together kissing. It's not that I am agianst that. Both of my college roommates were gay guys and they are wonderful men. But still, my kids don't need that so I do let it change some of what I watch. They also don't want Criminal Minds, I do make them stay out while it is on or I change it to weather channel really quickly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I totally agree with Denise - there are different uses for TV and some can harmful and some are helpful. We let our girls watch TV - but their shows are interactive (Mickey Mouse and Dora, for example). The characters are constantly asking the viewer to "stand up and clap with us" or "what color is that ball?" We avoid mind-numbing shows that just make them stare at the screen for a stupid cartoon plotline.

When we do have the TV on, as soon as they lose interest and start playing with something else, the TV goes off. I hate having it on just for background noise. (My husband is the opposite - he will put it on the music channel or just pick something and turn it on for noise. Drives me nuts, sometimes! He'll even leave the room to do something else like mow the yard or take a shower and leave the TV on.)

I do think the DVR is the best invention for TV! We record the shows we want to watch, and then do so at our own time - plus fast forward through the commercials. It keeps us from just watching whatever is on, and sticking only to shows we really want to watch.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I think to blame TV or video games or anything for crime is ridiculous. There has to be something mentally wrong with a person that kills someone, rapes someone, etc. That has nothing to do with television and all that.

I do think, however, that little kids watching TV adds to the problems of today's youth- add, adhd, ocd, etc.Older children, teens, and adults can watch tv but I really don't think TV should be a babysitter for young children. Also, a lot of parents sit their kids in front of the tv instead of going out and playing with them. Children nowadays don't get as much physical activity as they should and it is more than likely caused by tv, computers, video games, blah blah.

I don't watch a whole lot of tv, but I have nothing against it. I just think it needs to be used and watched in moderation, which a lot of people really can't do.

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answers from Kansas City on

We went cable free for about 10 months last year. If we watched anything it was a movie, on Hulu or Netflix streaming. But I wanted to watch my football and my husband wanted to watch hockey...

Typical day of tv at our house:

Morning - News to watch the weater
Mid Morning - kids can if they want watch Sesame Street and Umi Zumi
TV is typically off after that until after dinner.

However, since I sit at a desk all day and I can do my work in my sleep I have Netflix streaming via my phone and love to watch shows one season at a time!

I think tv is ok...in our house it is monitored, only because we both watch so much tv as kids and young adults that it became a way of life. Before we had the kids we would DVR so many shows because we couldn't watch them all at once. Now with the kids.. it's not because we think it's evil/bad we just want to do other things as a family. And we have gaming systems, we have a wall full of DVDs, we have a GIANT screen...but it's not the main source of entertainment.

But we do have days where we veg out and watch tv.


answers from Houston on

I like tv too, but i have cut the cable off people i feel i do rely on it too much. A few hours a day is fine, and can be educational, but framing your day around it is not. Thats what cable would make me do.



answers from Kansas City on

I'm going to play devil's advocate here - we haven't had tv in over 3 years at our house. I know, crazy right?! Let me amend that by saying we have a couple of tvs (that work) and the older kidlet can watch dvds on, but because we live in the country, we opted to save money and not get satellite service. You wouldn't believe how many people simply cannot understand what we do with our time! Now that it's summer, I spent the majority of my free time in my garden or playing with the kids. During the winter, I read and work on my hobbies. We do have two computers with internet, so we're not disconnected to the world (we spend a lot of time on the computer)...but our evenings don't revolve around what's on the tube. It's been both culture shock and liberating for us because we were both fairly avid tv watchers before we bought this house...now we're doing other things and don't miss it all that much anymore.

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