I have to admit, I love watching television shows. There is just so much variety. Just as much as I like reading a piece of fiction, a visual equivalent of the same is just as enjoyable. A few years ago I did a post on Books versus Movies, and being an ardent paperback book lover my inclination was without doubt towards the former. In the recent years however, I have come to respect the power of cinematography. There is so much that is being said about television and how it is ruining our lives, frying our brain cells, restricting our imaginative potential etc, so much so that if you love watching the television you’re probably not smart enough to participate in ‘intellectual discussions’. Sure about 60% of the channels are filled with baseless content, reality shows that have no connection to the reality, are scripted and exaggerated, television drama that continue to be on air since 2003, the same repetitive cliché tokenism of a highly capitalized, quantity over quality driven world. A convenient medium of advertising, the television becomes an endless and vehement reminder of the ‘rising’ standards of living in a globalised world. Despite the knowledge of this, despite the initial resentment, the pressure of fitting in takes over, it is only Darwinian. It is a competitive, brutal world. Everything is for show. We tend to pay more attention to creating a self for other’s perception than for ourselves. Television facilitates this process, a fact that is not a secret anymore. Here personal responsibility comes in. To wade through all that pretentiousness, cliché, and repetitive content is not a difficult task. To consider them useless and being judgmental about it is snobbery. Don’t forget that it also gives to a lot of people jobs and keeps them off the street. So of course personal responsibility comes in. After all, the rest of the 40% is filled with good content. Focus on that.
The television is also a carrier of information, connecting the whole world together. News channels connect people to their realities, to the world they inhabit. Science and technology centered channels ensure that you understand the earth better. Channels oriented towards culture and entertainment also serve the same task. Of course information about your surrounding is as important as the most basic act of eating or drinking. How else do you survive in the world in the 21st century? Ignorance at this day and age is not bliss, it is just foolish.
So yes, I enjoy watching television. Sometimes I may watch a few reality shows- it serves as a good study in human behavior. Sometimes I watch a few television series- they are good entertainment, if you know where to draw the line between what it is and what you are. Most of the times I learn a lot from these television shows. You just need to be accepting of what it has to offer. You need to be open to learning. We can learn from the good and the bad. Instead of indulging in the taboo of how television only fries your brain cells and risk being called a snob, I suggest testing the waters. Someone told me long time ago how there’s a thin line between individualism and pretentiousness, I had never until now fathomed the meaning of that sentence and I don’t know if it connects to the argument I am making here fully. But what I am trying to convey here, I guess, is the fact that taboos are created through mass participation. It gains consensus through an agglomeration of sorts, where different people have different things to add, all to create a proscription of a certain kind.
Television is one of the older mediums of communication. Although newer forms of communication platforms have taken up our lives by storm, I don’t think television is going anywhere. If anything, it advances with time, becoming more sophisticated than ever before as far as functionality goes.
So here is an invitation of sorts, to give television a chance to help you understand the dynamics of the modern world. Personal choice goes as far as making personal decisions only.
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