Advantages Of TV
The Advantages Of TV Are Numerous Indeed
You don't hear too much about the advantages of TV. Described as a "vast wasteland", and as the “boob tube", TV takes its share of knocks. Admittedly there is much on TV that's not worth watching. Still, what we might consider as being silly or time-wasting, someone else may find entertaining, or of value. In other words, you can't please everyone, but TV seems to try and do just that.
Admittedly, having satellite or cable TV allows you to sit and flip through a hundred or so channels, finding nothing much worth watching. On the other hand, some will watch anything, for hours, as if the ability to switch channels was a complete mystery. These are the extremes. In the middle, there are a great many advantages of TV over some other forms of entertainment and communication.
The News - As much as we may enjoy our daily newspaper, one of the advantages of TV is it gives us the benefit of a little more in-depth reporting and analysis of the news. Cable news shows in particular will sometimes go into great detail on a given news story, including diverse opinions from people who at time you wish would just shut up. Cable news does have the habit of running a story into the ground, at least until the next sensational story pops up, but you do get plenty of detail, and you can always switch channels or turn the set off.
Cartoons - Another of the advantages of TV is, it makes a great babysitter. You don't just turn the set on and leave toddlers home alone, but a couple of good cartoon shows can keep them occupied while you do other things around the house that need to get done. TV is also a good companion for someone ill and perhaps bed-ridden. Watching TV does relieve boredom, although some would prefer listening to good music, listening to the radio or just reading. TV is a nice option though.
Sports - For some of us there's nothing quite like going to a ball game. Baseball and basketball are fun to watch, and there's nothing quite like a college football game that falls into the "big game' category. You have to admit however, you see the game much better on TV than from the stands. Watching the replay of a great play is one of the real advantages of TV, although watching the same replay a dozen times from 6 different angles can be a bit trying at times.
Weather - For people constantly on the move, the TV weather stations will at times provide invaluable information. With an eye on the weather channels you can avoid plane delays, change plans if a weather forecast suggests you should, and get a heads up if a severe thunderstorm is headed your way, or a tornado watch is in effect. The weather channels provide a very valuable service.
Sit Com - Even the situation comedies provide a useful purpose. They provide entertainment, some of it of very high quality some not. But regardless of quality, we can get "hooked" on a particular show, and it becomes an enjoyable part of our routine. Enjoy a particularly hilarious episode of Seinfeld? You'll probably get a chance to see it again once or twice during the course of a year. Or get a DVD and watch it as often as you want. It doesn't have to be comedy either. Drama, westerns, law and order, reality shows, you name it. Somewhere among all the stuff and nonsense, there are gems worth watching.
Admittedly, some watch TV way too much. It's difficult if not impossible to try to regulate an adult's viewing habits, but we do sometimes need to do just that for children. Fortunately there are enough good shows to make it possible to select a few that provide worthwhile viewing. What's on TV isn't always the cause behind being "glued to the tube". It's the boob in front of the tube that's often to blame. We need to be careful not to train our children into becoming boobs.
Where TV Shines - There are plenty of people who are unable to get out and about, and it is in this situation as much as anything where we witness some of the real advantages of TV. People who might be confined indoors, to a single room, or to a bed, have a great source of entertainment, information, and even learning at their disposal. They can watch a ball game, a good movie, Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, or a rerun of Gunsmoke. Sure does help pass the time.
We've come a long ways from a small black and white screen with only two channels to choose between (two more channels were there but had poor reception). Instead of missing out on an occasional movie which somehow found its way on to the TV screen, we now have pay per view, and other programs on demand. We have baseball every day instead of having to wait for the World Series to view a game. We've been able to watch, up close and personal, performances by Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, Jackie Gleason, and countless others. In spite of all the criticism, much of it justified, one of the great advantages of TV is simply – choice.