Remember when television was in the living room and a place for the family to get together to watch a family program, and the choices were quite limited? Since then it has 'progressed' in such a way that huge amounts of programming are now directed at different segments of the family. As a result most of it is not watched as a group and may be viewed separately at different hours or in separate rooms.
Over the years TV has brought into the home entertainment, news and commercials. Lots of continuous and persuasive commercials. To increase their marketing effect the news and entertainment are stretched, exaggerated and designed to grab viewers' attention. Shock topics and vivid attention grabbing presentations are continually increasing while wholesome, friendly and cultural productions are fewer.
Television today is an overbearing medium for the corporate promotion of products and services. Massive amounts of commercials are sent to family members daily directing them towards different, sometimes conflicting markets. In their efforts to gain attention to their promotions marketers will use intense, noisy, provocative and offensive material in the programming. And there is constant repetition in the advertisements until the messages take hold; to sell stuff which so often is not needed or which may even be harmful to society and planet.
For individuals and families there is a steep cost in watching television, financially and in the loss of valuable communications and true healthy values. All or part of so many families are addicted to this way of life - gazing at the 'idiot box' and absorbing its messages. It can be very difficult to ease back on watching television in favor of unpolluted pastimes. How are you going to break a deeply ingrained habit of so many years?
A few suggestions.
A new hobby indoors or outdoors can be a lot of fun and very satisfying.
Work on a photo album or scrapbook, one you can touch and feel and show.
Go for a walk around town, in the park, or to the library.
Read a magazine article, a book or learn a new skill.
Visit with neighbors, and why not discuss the effects of television with them.
Check off another chore on your To-Do List, or start a To-Do Chore List.
A few resources
How TV Affects Your Child at Kidshealth.org
A phrase borrowed from the computer programmer's repertoire describes the television phenomenon in our lives; "Garbage in - Garbage out."