Television and its entertaining shows have come a long way since the days of black & white, and the heydays of Milton Berle, Ed Sullivan and Carol Burnett. You couldn’t convince too many young people today that there was ever a time when there were only a few hours of television broadcasted weekly, and perhaps only 1 or 2 channels to choose from, and that was only if you were somewhere near a large city where you had reception! We have gone from sitting down with our families to watch one variety show each week to watching an average of 4 or more hours per day! There are so many things to watch, and so many devices to watch with, it’s almost impossible to keep up!
Most cable or satellite TV services carry 500+ channels covering everything from world news, to sports, to music, to sitcoms and movies. There are even channels that play commercials only! Who ever would have thought decades ago, that we would enjoy TV so much that we would willingly tune-in to watch commercials, (or more appropriately, “infomercials”)? Well, billions of subscribers say it is certainly so. Can’t argue with that.
Television has become an integral part of our lives. The question is, is that good or bad? If you ask many different people, you will get many different answers. When I was very young, I remember watching “Sesame Street” and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” almost every day. Those shows were educational and clean, fun-spirited, and entertaining. It seemed beneficial, gave parents a break, and the viewing time was limited. Today, kid’s have so many options to choose from, it is challenging for parents to decide what is best for their children’s young minds.
Since the days of gathering around one TV set, television has inhabited our living rooms, dens, bedrooms and kitchens, and now they are ejecting from the ceilings of our mini-vans for the family entourage to experience uninterrupted visual entertainment for as many miles as necessary.
Even though, I love watching TV, I think all things should be done in moderation, and we should limit our daily viewing for healthier, more productive activities. TV makes us sedentary. Not only we, but our children should be more active. If there is no yard or house work to do (hard to imagine), get your walking shoes on, grab the kids and take Fido for a walk around the neighborhood a few times each week. TV often makes us overweight. All that sitting around and staring at the big HD screen makes that bag of chips and that bottle of soda ever so enticing. Don’t do it!!! Instead, get your friends and/or family members gathered and involved in a good old fashioned game of Charades, Hangman, or Pictionary. Find something that includes everyone, that is physical, mentally challenging, stimulating and FUN! Who knows? If you and your family are really creative and exciting enough, they might make a TV show about you!